Pope Francis: God’s Word lives through humility, prayer

Pope Francis leads the Ash Wednesday procession on Rome's Aventine Hill, March 5, 2014. Credit: Isabel Anderson.

Pope Francis warned against trying to co-opt the Word of God for one’s own purposes as did the Pharisees, urging prayer and humility instead, in his homily for Friday’s Mass.

“This is the tragedy of these people, and our tragedy too!” he preached March 21 during his Mass said at the chapel of the Vatican’s St. Martha guesthouse.

He reflected on the Gospel reading containing Jesus’ parable about the workers in the vineyard who killed the servants and then the son of the vineyard’s master, intending to take over the vineyard for themselves.

The Pope explained that this parable was directed to the Pharisees to show “where they had fallen” without “hearts open to the Word of God.”

He said such people “have taken over the Word of God. And the Word of God becomes their word, a word according to their interests, their ideologies, their theologies... but in their service.”

In this situation, he said, everyone interprets the Word of God “according to their own will, according to their own interests. This is the tragedy of this people. And to preserve this, they kill. This happened to Jesus.”

Jesus’ parable led the chief priests and the Pharisees seek to capture and kill him; Pope Francis said this is how the Word of God “dies” and is “imprisoned.”

This is what happens to Christians “when we are not open to the newness of the Word of God, when we are not obedient to the Word of God.”

While the Word of God can “die in our heart,” this is not the end, because “it is alive in the hearts of the simple of the humble, of the people of God.”

“That simple crowd — who followed Jesus because what he said did their hearts good, warmed their hearts — this people wasn’t wrong. They didn’t use the Word of God for their own interests; they listened, and sought to be a little bit better.”

The Pope said that through humility and prayer, Christians can become docile, and “not cage the Holy Spirit.”

“With humility and prayer we go forward by listening to the Word of God and obeying it.”


Voices

Jean Beliveau, RIP

REV. RONALD ROLHEISER, OMI

Jean Beliveau was more than an athlete, though certainly he was a one-in-a-million athlete. The record of his achievements almost defies belief. He played in the National Hockey League for 20 seasons and retired with 10 championship rings. 

 

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December 20, 2014

  • Saturday, December 20

    St. Margaret's Center Christmas Program, 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Morningside High School (Cafeteria), 10500 S. Yukon Ave, Inglewood. St. Margaret's Center, Inglewood School District, Doorking, Inc., and Centinela Hospital Medical Staff invite you to join them as they create a holiday wonderland with Christmas surprises for more than 1,000 poverty-level children and their parents. (310) 672-2208. Click here for more information.

    Christmas Shop at Holy Grounds, 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m., St. Monica Catholic Community, 725 California Ave., Santa Monica. (310) 566-1500.

    Dancing Festival of Lessons and Carols, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Holy Spirit Retreat House, 4316 Lanai Rd., Encino. A concert by Valyermo Dancers & Co., choreographed by John West. $15. Contact Sr. Deborah for more info, (818) 784-4515.

    Christmas Dinner Dance, 6 p.m., Knights of Columbus Hall, 21433 Strathern St, Canoga Park. Tickets, $28. (818) 371-0473.

    Las Posadas, 7 p.m., Parish Hall, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 600 W Mariposa St, Altadena. Posadas means “the inns” or “the shelters” in Spanish. A religious and social celebration, Las Posadas commemorates Joseph and Mary’s journey to Bethlehem and their search for shelter prior to the birth of Christ. We invite you to join us in a one-day celebration of this tradition. (626) 794-2046.

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