Friday, January 17, 2014
In his Friday morning Mass, Pope Francis said that Catholics who try to be blend into a "worldly uniformity,” are in fact rejecting their role as children of God.
Citing a reading from the Old Testament, he described how the Jewish people asked an elderly Samuel to choose a king for them, so they could be like other nations. The Pope said they chose the path of worldliness, effectively rejecting God.
"A normal life for Christians demands loyalty to their choices, and to not exchange it for the path of worldly uniformity. That is the temptation of the people, and also ours. Many times, we forget about the Word of God, what the Lord tells us, and we take up fashionable words, right? Even those from soap operas are fashionable, and we use them, they're more enjoyable.”
The Pope added that worldliness makes the heart soft, but opening their heart to God makes it stronger.
SUMMARY FROM THE POPE'S HOMILY
Source: Vatican Radio
We must not sell out the gift of being God’s children for a distorted sense of normality. These were the words of Pope Francis at Mass on Friday morning in the Vatican’s Casa Santa Marta. As Christians, Pope Francis said, we must actively strive against the normality of our everyday lives to remain faithful to God’s choosing. We must not sell out to the temptation of worldliness, of living as if God didn’t exist.
We often forget the Word of God, Pope Francis continued, we forget what the Lord says, and we listen instead to whatever word is more fashionable, more fun. This temptation, the Pope said, is more dangerous than an outright renouncing of faith, because it is more subtle, and less clear. It is true, he recognised, that Christians must be normal people, but they must also bear in mind the Word of God which says to them ‘you are my people, I have chosen you, I am by your side’.
We must resist the temptation of feeling inferior to normality, Pope Francis explained, because this temptation hardens the heart, and when the heart is hardened, the Word of God cannot enter. This was the temptation of the Jewish people in the Old Testament, he added, referring to the daily reading taken from the First Book of Samuel. Neither must we allow our hearts to be softened by worldliness, the Pope said: our hearts must simply be open to the Word of God, open to receiving it, in order not to move away from being chosen by God.
Let us ask, Pope Francis concluded, for the grace to overcome our own selfishness, our own desire to do as we please.