While our feet are on earth, as Christians, our gaze is on heaven.
According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis gave this reminder during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta as he reflected on the Christian’s place in the world.
During his homily, the Jesuit Pope pointed out how in the Scriptures, we are given three points of reference for the Christian journey: memory, prayer, and world.
Memory; That Which Gives Certainty Amid Trials
Looking at memory, he noted, the Risen Lord tells the disciples to go before Him to Galilee, marking the first encounter with the Lord.
“Each one of us “has his own ‘Galilee,’” where Jesus shows Himself for the first time, where we have known Him and have had “this joy, this enthusiasm for following Him.”
To be good Christians, the Holy Father underscored, it is necessary to always have this memory of the first encounter with Jesus, or of subsequent encounters.”
This is“the grace of memory,” he said, which in “the moment of trial, gives me certainty.”
Prayer: He Hears Us
Turning to prayer, Francis stressed that when Jesus ascended into heaven, He did not break off His relationship with us.
“Physically, yes,” he admitted. “But He is always joined to us by interceding for us. He shows the Father His wounds, the price He has paid for us, for our salvation.”
Given this, the Holy Father encouraged, “we must ask for the grace to contemplate heaven, the grace of prayer, the relationship with Jesus in prayer, that in the moment He hears us, He is with us.”
Turning to the final word “world,” Francis stressed, “Jesus, before He left them—as we heard yesterday in the Gospel of the Ascension—says to the disciples: ‘Go into the world and make disciples.’”
“Go: the Christian’s place is in the world in order to proclaim the Word of Jesus, in order to say that we are saved, that He is come to give us grace, to bring us all with Him before the Father.”
These three points of reference for our lives, Francis stressed, make up “the topography of the Christian spirit.”
“A Christian must move in these three dimensions, and request the grace of memory: saying to the Lord, ‘Don’t let me forget the moment when You chose me, don’t let me forget the moment we met.’ Then, praying, looking to heaven because He is there, interceding. He intercedes for us.”
“And then, going on mission: that is, not saying that everyone has to go to the foreign missions; [rather] going on mission is living and bearing witness to the Gospel, it is making Jesus known to all people.”
The Pope stressed we must do so through witness and through the Word, “because if I tell people about Jesus, and about the Christian life, and then live like a pagan, that won’t do. The mission will not go forward.”
If we follow however these three points of reference, the Pope said, Christian life will be beautiful and joyful.
Pope Francis concluded, praying, “May the Lord give us the grace to understand this topography of the Christian life and to go forward with joy, with that joy that no one can take from us.”