(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis concelebrated Mass this morning at the Casa Santa Marta
with members of the Council of Cardinals. The Holy Father is meeting with the group
of Cardinals from Tuesday through Thursday of this week.
In his homily, the Pope expressed his hope that the meeting would help everyone become more humble and more trusting in God, so that the Church might be able to give a beautiful witness to the people.
In the day’s readings, Jesus rebuked the two Apostles that wanted to call down fire from heaven upon those who would not accept them. Pope Francis pointed out that the way of the Christian is not a “path of vengeance.” The way of the Christian is the way of humility, of meekness. He added that today, on the feast of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, it would be good for us to think about “this spirit of humility, of tenderness, of bounty.” It is a spirit, the Pope said, that the Lord “wants from all of us.” Where, then, is the power “that brings us to this spirit?” It is found “in love, in charity, in the awareness that we are in the hands of the Father.” When we sense this, the Pope observed, we will not want “to call down fire from Heaven”:
“Another spirit comes, that of that charity that suffers all, pardons all, that does not boast, that is humble, that doesn’t seek itself. Someone could say — and there are some philosophers that thing this way — that this is a humiliation of the majesty of man, of the greatness of man. This is sterile! The Church has wisely made this saint, humble, small, trusting in God, meek: she has made her the Patron of Missions.”
The strength of the Gospel, he continued, is there, “because the Gospel reaches its highest point in the humiliation of Jesus: humility that becomes humiliation. And the force of the Gospel, he said, is properly in humility, in the humility of the child that is guided by the love and the tenderness of the father.”:
“The Church, Benedict XVI told us, does not grow through proselytism, it grows through attraction, through witness. And when the people see this witness of humility, of meekness, of mildness, they feel the need that the Prophet Zachariah spoke of: ‘We want to come with you.’ The people feel that need in the face of the witness of charity, of this humble charity, without bullying, not sufficient, humble. Worship and serve!”
“Charity is simple: worship God and serve others! And this witness,” the Pope said, makes the Church grown.” That’s why a nun, “so humble, but so trusting in God,” a nun like St. Therese of the Child Jesus “was named Patron of the Mission, because of her example” which makes “the people say ‘we want to come with you!’”
Pope Francis concluded his homily with a special mention of the meeting with the “Council of Cardinals”:
“Today, here in the Vatican, begins the meeting with the Cardinal consulters, who are concelebrating the Mass. Let us ask the Lord that our work today will make us all more humble, more meek, more patient, more trusting in God, so that the Church can give a beautiful witness to the people, and seeing the People of God, seeing the Church, they might feel the desire to come with us.”
Listen to Christopher Wells' report: