"Are we prepared to promote conditions in which the living contact with God can be reestablished? For our lives today have become godless to the point of complete vacuity. God is no longer with us in the conscious sense of the word. He is denied, ignored, excluded from every claim to have a part in our daily life." - Alfred Delp, S.J.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Pope Francis spoke about something I have pondered quite often...

'And you who gave your life for me,
please, open, that I may enter.'

'You seek for each other's approval...'

I think of this so often: "How can you believe when you seek approval from one another?"  The Holy Father gently zeroes in on what that means in the context of today's Gospel.

'He is simple, the Lord. His words are not complex: He is simple.'
In Monday’s Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples that whoever does not enter the sheepfold through the gate, is not a shepherd, but a thief and a robber. In short, said Pope Francis, someone who seeks to profit for themselves, who only wants to climb the social ladder. The only gate to the Kingdom of God, to the Church - the Pope said - is Jesus Himself:
"These social climbers exist even in the Christian communities, no? those people who are looking for their own... and consciously or unconsciously pretend to enter but are thieves and robbers. Why? Why steal the glory from Jesus? They want glory for themselves and this is what [Jesus] said to the Pharisees: You seek for each other's approval...'. That’s something of a ‘commercial’ religion, don’t you think? I give glory to you and you give glory to me."  
"Some of you may say: 'Father, you're a fundamentalist!'. No, simply put, this is what Jesus said : 'I am the gate', 'I am the path’ [He] gives life to us. Simple. It is a beautiful gate, a gate of love, it is a gate that does not deceive, it is not false. It always tells the truth. But with tenderness and love. However, we still have […] the source of original sin within us, is not it so? We still desire to possess the key to interpreting everything, the key and the power to find our own path, whatever it is, to find our own gate, whatever it is. "

"Sometimes - the Pope said - we are tempted to be too much our own bosses and not humble children and servants of the Lord":

"And this is the temptation to look for other gates or other windows to enter the Kingdom of God. We can only enter by the gate whose name is Jesus. We can only enter by that gate which leads to a path and that path is called Jesus and brings to a life whose name is Jesus. All those who do something else - says the Lord – who try to enter through the window, are 'thieves and robbers'. He is simple, the Lord. His words are not complex: He is simple”. - Finish reading here.
"Whoever praises you deceives you."  I ponder that one a lot too.

Just a note - I may be mistaken, but the Holy Father's daily reflections do not strike me as 'off-the-cuff' comments but rather the fruit of his prayer, his Lectio Divina.

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