Below is a paragraph from a homily given by the new pope, Francis I, in the Sistine Chapel on Thursday, March 14, 2013. It was, I believe, one of his first homilies as pope. The homily is about “Journeying, Building, and Professing.” Though the entire homily is worth reading and is available at the link at the bottom, it is one particular paragraph about the “Professing” aspect of the pope’s message here that most moved me.
Pope Francis summarizes so well, in this brief paragraph, the truth of who we really are and who we should strive to be as a Church:
“….Thirdly, professing. We can walk as much as we want, we can build many things, but if we do not profess Jesus Christ, things go wrong. We may become a charitable NGO, but not the Church, the Bride of the Lord. When we are not walking, we stop moving. When we are not building on the stones, what happens? The same thing that happens to children on the beach when they build sandcastles: everything is swept away, there is no solidity. When we do not profess Jesus Christ, the saying of Léon Bloy comes to mind: “Anyone who does not pray to the Lord prays to the devil.” When we do not profess Jesus Christ, we profess the worldliness of the devil, a demonic worldliness.” – Pope Francis I
If we do not profess Jesus, we profess “the world,” whether we admit it or not. If we do not pray to Jesus, we pray to the devil, whether we realize it or not. These are hard words to hear even for many Christians. But, ask yourself, what do you believe in? What do you stand for? Are you “of the world” or are you merely “in the world”?
Let us put it another way, as Jimmy Carter recalled hearing said to him once: “If you were on trial for being a Christian,……. would there be enough evidence to convict you?” Make no mistake, the Gospels of Jesus Christ are unquestionably the single greatest tool we have at our disposal if we are to help this world and our neighbors in any meaningful way.
I believe we will see many more people in this world, than we have seen in decades, return to the Roman Catholic faith due to the ministry and message of this pope.
If you are interested, the entire homily is available at this link: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/homilies/2013/documents/papa-francesco_20130314_omelia-cardinali_en.html
God Bless and may His Love be with you and may His Name never be far from your lips.