Faith is rooted in God – not human approval, Pope Francis says

Vatican City, Sep 1, 2014 / 10:32 am  .- Faith is not founded upon human wisdom, but on the power of God, as made manifest in the Gospel. This was one of the main themes of Pope Francis’ homily on Monday morning, resuming daily Mass at the Santa Marta residence following the summer holidays.

Addressing the congregation, the Pope said that we do not read the Gospel simply to learn, but to find Jesus. This is “because Jesus is truly in His Word, in His Gospel.”

One ought to receive the Word “as one receives Christ: that is, with an open heart, with a humble heart, with the spirit of the Beatitudes, because Jesus came in this way, in humility. He came in poverty. He came with the anointing of the Holy Spirit.”

“The Word of God is Jesus,” the Pope said, adding that Jesus “is a source of scandal. The Cross of Christ scandalizes.”

“This is the strength of the Word of God: Jesus Christ, the Lord. And how must we receive the Word of God? As one receives Christ Jesus. The Church tells us that Jesus is present in Scripture, in His Word.”

Jesus is power, the Holy Father said. “He is the Word of God because He is anointed by the Holy Spirit. Also, if we want to listen to and receive the Word of God, we must pray to the Holy Spirit and ask for this anointing of the heart, which is the anointing of the Beatitudes. Such a heart is the heart of the Beatitudes.”

Reflecting on the first reading of the day, Pope Francis cited Saint Paul, saying: “But, I did come among you to persuade you with arguments, with words, or to make a good impression…No. I came in a different way, with a different style. I came to manifest the Spirit and His power.”

“Because your faith has not been founded upon human wisdom, but upon the power of God. So, the Word of God is something else, something that is not equal to a human word, to a wise word, to a scientific word, to a philosophical word…no: it is something else. It comes in a different way.”

This is what happens when Jesus comments on the Scriptures in the Synagogue at Nazareth, Pope Francis said. At first, the people of Nazareth admired him for his words, but then became angry and sought to kill him.

“They went from one side to the other,” he continued, “because the Word of God is something different from the human word.”

The Pope went on to encourage the faithful to read the word of God daily, even suggesting that they purchase a small pocket-sized Gospel to carry with them.

“We would do well today, throughout the day, to ask ourselves: ‘Yet, how do I receive the Word of God?” Do we receive the Word of God because the priest presents it in a way that is interesting, Pope Francis said, or “simply because it is the living Jesus, His Word?”

“We would do well (to ask) these two questions,” he said. “The Lord helps us.”

1 comment

  1. Mario Simonelli Reply

    The printed word of God is not Christ; it reveals Christ. However to receive the full revelation of our Lord we need to rightly divide the word, because as you know from the second century the word of God was contaminated by the word of men. The following Scriptures are reliable testimony of the existence of stumbling blocks for in Matthew 13:24-25, “He presented another parable to them, saying. ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares also among the wheat, and went away.”’ And in Matthew 18:7, again Jesus said, “Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!”
    Also 2Peter 3:16 strongly warned us by saying: “As also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also to the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.” Again 2Peter 2:1-2 is very specific by saying: “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned.”
    Also the apostle Paul testified about the future teaching of untruth, for we read in 2Timothy 4:3-4: “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths.”
    Through these reliable and undeniable testimonies, I am fully convinced that early in the Christian era the inspired Holy Word of God was contaminated by the word of man, creating anomalies and ambiguities, making many parts of the New Testament open to speculations, which work against the knowledge of God.
    We all know, or should know, that God has revealed His Son, and in His Son, He has revealed Himself. If we truly believe that, we should not accept the existence of unfathomable mysteries, or believe captivating speculations, which are nothing more than fairytales, promoted by the imagination and ignorance of man. The scriptures encourage us to seek the truth and depths of God for we read in 1Corinthians 2:9-10: “But just as it is written. Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him. For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.”

    How many times people has questioned the wisdom of the celibacy of the priests, and how many priests have left the ministry because he or she could not find celibacy in the bible. We all know that Christianity was born through the sacrifice of the unblemished life of the Messiah, His unblemished life and eventual sinless death were necessary, for in so doing He fulfilled the law of God, hence enabling Him to do three wonderful things for the world which are: First, reverse what Adam did and give justification of life to all of humanity; second, forgive the sins of past, present and future faithful generations, and third, give the gift of His Grace to those who would believe and receive the Holy Spirit.
    Some of those who receive the gift of His Grace have been invited to grow and mature in that gift, for we read in Luke 9:23: “And He was saying to them all, ‘if anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.’” Somehow that invitation to deny oneself is tested by the strength of his or her personal faith, for we must keep present in mind that it is not compulsory to literally follow in His footsteps, for it is written: “If anyone wishes to come after Me” That statement is just because we are all individuals whose personalities and strength differ in many ways. It is compulsory though to “love your neighbour like yourself,” which is the basic requirement if we truly aspire to be Christians and then if anyone wishes there is the devotional sacrifice to go after him.
    This devotional sacrifice of worship to God is an exceptional way of self-denial with which we get closer to our Lord, for we read in 1Corinthians 7:32-38: “But I want you to be free from concern. One who is unmarried is concerned about the things of the Lord, how he may please the Lord;
    33 but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and his interests are divided.
    34 And the woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
    35 And this I say for your own benefit; not to put a restraint upon you, but to promote what is seemly, and to secure SOME BELIEVERS FOR AN undivided devotion to the Lord.
    36 But if any man thinks that he is acting unbecomingly towards his CELIBACY, if he should be of full age, and if it must be so, let him do what he wishes, he does not sin; let HIM marry.
    37 But he who stands firm in his heart, being under no constraint, but has authority over his own BODY, and has decided this in his own heart, to keep his own BODY CHASTE, he will do well.
    38 So then both he who gives his own BODY in marriage does well, BUT he who does not give HIMSELF in marriage will do better.”

    As you can see, the last four verses 35-38, with the inserted block letters words are the obvious restorations needed, which enable us to understand the connection and the true intended meaning of the previous verses of 32-34. Thus if any person, male or female, is willingly prepared and able to freely undertake the sacrifice of celibacy as their sacrifice of worship, that sacrifice is acceptable to God, this is confirmed in Matthew 19:10-12: “The disciples said to Him, ‘If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry.’ But He said to them, ‘Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given. For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb; and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are also eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this let him accept it.’”
    Romans 12:1 also urges us to keep our body holy by saying: “I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.”

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