"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.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Pope and the call of Matthew...

It's always about the gaze...  What?

While all the disciples, the scribes and Pharisees and the teachers of the law chatter and kibitz over the Pope's interview in America magazine, Francis directs our attention upon that gaze of Christ, that look of love, which welcomes sinners and acknowledges them... invites them.

Jesus looks Matthew – a tax collector, a public sinner whose whole life was money, which he idolized – right in the eye. Then, said Pope Francis, “[Matthew feels] in his heart the gaze of the Lord who looked upon him.”:

“That gaze overtook him completely, it changed his life. We say he was converted. He Changed his life. ‘As soon as he felt that gaze in his heart, he got up and followed him.’ This is true: Jesus’ gaze always lifts us up. It is a look that always lifts us up, and never leaves you in your place, never lets us down, never humiliates. It invites you to get up - a look that brings you to grow, to move forward, that encourages you, because [the One who looks upon you] loves you. The gaze makes you feel that He loves you. This gives the courage to follow Him: ‘And he got up and followed him.’”
“And sinners, tax collectors and sinners, they felt that Jesus had looked on them and that gaze of Jesus upon them – I believe – was like a breath on embers, and they felt that there was fire in the belly, again, and that Jesus made ​​lifted them up, gave them back their dignity. The gaze of Jesus always makes us worthy, gives us dignity. It is a generous look. ‘But behold, what a teacher: dining with the dregs of the city!’: But beneath that dirt there were the embers of desire for God, the embers of God's image that wanted someone who could help them be kindled anew. This is what the gaze of Jesus does.” - Vatican Radio

 Why is that so hard to understand?

Did anyone see the Charlie Rose interview with the Jesuits last night?  Seriously, even Charlie Rose gets it, he initiated the conversation pointing out that the Pope wasn't changing Church teaching, but rather simply placing a different emphasis.
"Go and learn the meaning of the words, 'I desire mercy not sacrifice'.  I did not come to call the righteous but sinners." - Matthew 9:13



  1. Substitute "blogger" for "tax collector", and it's me.

  2. What a beautiful way of putting it as only Papa Francis can do. The gaze of Jesus. I will reflect upon such beauty next time I go to adoration since I too want that fire in the belly so as to go forth with courage and renewed hope.

    I will have to look for that Charlie Rose interview. Thank you!

  3. Along with Matthew 9:13, I think Jesus' words to St. Faustina are apt: "Now is a time of mercy." That's where we are at this point in salvation history what with the de-christianization of the West and Latin America. The outward face of the Church needs to be one of mercy, and let's hope that within the Church we begin to preach the Narrow Way (that is the justice or perfection of God). The Church is called both to heal the sinner and to preach Vat II's "universal call to holiness". Another way of thinking about it, is that the Church needs both Pope Francis and Card. Burke--it's not an either/or.

  4. Jesus' gaze = breath on embers. Praise God!

  5. The merciful gaze of Jesus AND Mary...

    Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy... turn then your eyes of mercy towards us...

    • Dear children, Today, with my motherly heart, I call you gathered around me to love your neighbour. My children, stop. Look in the eyes of your brother and see Jesus, my Son. If you see joy, rejoice with him. If there is pain in the eyes of your brother, with your tenderness and goodness, cast it away, because without love you are lost. Only love is effective; it works miracles. Love will give you unity in my Son and the victory of my heart. Therefore, my children, love. Medjugorje message, September 2, 2008

  6. SUNDAY UPDATE... Pope Francis: Mary teaches us to look around us in a brotherly manner...

    “On the journey, which is often difficult, we are not alone, we are so many, we are one people, and the gaze of Our Lady helps us to look around us in a brotherly manner. Let's look at ourselves in a more fraternal way! Mary teaches us to have that look that seeks to welcome, to guide, to protect. We learn to look at each other under the maternal gaze of Mary!

    Full text at Vatican Radio

  7. bg - I also love the Pope's conclusion:

    "And we do not allow anything or anyone to come between us and the gaze of the Madonna. Mother, look upon us! No one hide from it! Our childlike heart knows to defend it from so many windbags who promise illusions; from those who have a greedy look for easy life, from the promises of those who can’t fulfil them. They can’t steal Mary’s gaze from us, which is full of tenderness, which gives us strength, makes us united in solidarity among ourselves. Let us all say, “Mother, look upon us! Mother, look upon us! Mother, look upon us!”

    He said 'windbags'! I love it.

  8. I met a woman this week who is celebrating the one-year anniversary of an organ transplant. She was so sick prior to the transplant that she could not even leave her home for a year. One Friday night, she couldn't sleep at all because of the torments she was in and she prayed the Rosary over and over again. At about 6AM she cried out in desperation: "Mother of God, talk to your Son!". To hear her retell the emotion in her voice as she made her plea gave me goosebumps. Two hours later, her phone rang. She scarcely had the energy to get off the couch to answer it but she had sent her husband to work and was home alone. She managed to answer it and it was the hospital on the other end. A donor had been found and she would be receiving the life-giving transplant she needed. "I meant no disrespect to Our Lady," she told me, "but I was desperate and I couldn't take it anymore. I cried out to her, as one mother to another, and she heard me. No one can ever tell me this wasn't a miracle or that she does not take pity on us."

  9. The Mother who listens... the Mother who comes to me... the Mother who walks with me... the Mother who renews me... the Mother who is always with me... the Mother who embraces me... the Mother who draws me to her heart... the Mother who feels my pain... the Mother who believes in miracles... the Mother who loves me.


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