2013-04-19 Vatican Radio
(Vatican Radio) The Word of God is to be welcomed with humility because it is the word of love: thus – and only thus – may it penetrate hearts and change lives. This was the essence of the remarks Pope Francis made at Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae chapel on Friday morning, in the presence of employees and staff members from the Vatican Typography – the printing press – and the L’Osservatore Romano newspaper. Listen:
The Conversion of St. Paul and the discourse of Jesus in the synagogue of Capernaum were the biblical readings of the day, and were at the centre of the Pope’s homily, which focused on Jesus as He speaks: speaking to Saul who had been persecuting Him; to Ananias, called to accept Saul; to the teachers of the law, saying that anyone who does not eat His flesh and drink His blood will not be saved. The Pope said Jesus’ voice, “passes through our mind and goes to the heart, for Jesus seeks our conversion.” Paul and Ananias respond with puzzlement, but with an open heart. The teachers of the law respond in another way, arguing among themselves and challenging the hard words of Jesus:
Paul and Ananias respond [after the manner of] the great [figures] in salvation history, like Jeremiah [and] Isaiah. Even Moses had his difficulties [as when he said]: ‘But, Lord, I do not know how to speak, how am I going to go to the Egyptians and [deliver your message]?’ And Mary, [who said]: ‘But, Lord, I’m not married!’. It is the response of humility, of one who welcomes the Word of God with one’s heart. Instead, the doctors answered only with their heads. They do not know that the Word of God goes to the heart, do not know of conversion.
The Pope explained who are the ones that respond only with the head:
They are the great ideologues. The Word of Jesus goes to the heart because it is the Word of love, it is a beautiful word and brings love, makes us to love. These ideologues cut off the road of love, and also that of beauty – and they began to argue sharply among themselves, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’. All a matter of intellect! And when ideology enters into the Church, when ideology enters into our understanding of the Gospel, no [authentic] comprehen[sion] is [possible].
They are the ones who walk only “on the path of duty”: theirs is the moralis[tic outlook] of those who pretend to understand the Gospel with their heads alone. They are not “on the road to conversion, that conversion to which Jesus calls us.”
And these, on the road of duty, load everything on the shoulders of the faithful. The ideologues falsify the gospel. Every ideological interpretation, wherever it comes from – from [whatever side] – is a falsification of the Gospel. And these ideologues – as we have seen in the history of the Church – end up being intellectuals without talent, ethicists without goodness – and let us not so much as mention beauty, of which they understand nothing.
“Rather,” said Pope Francis, “the path of love, the way of the Gospel, is simple: it is the road that the Saints understood”:
The saints are those who lead the Church forward! The road of conversion, the way of humility, of love, of the heart, the way of beauty … Today let us pray to the Lord for the Church: that the Lord might free her from any ideological interpretation and open the heart of the Church, our Mother Church, to the simple Gospel, to that pure Gospel that speaks to us of love, which brings love, and is so beautiful! It also makes us beautiful, with the beauty of holiness. Today let us pray for the Church.
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