· The Pope’s Mass at Santa Marta ·
Christian life must always be restive and never act as a tranquillizer or even less as “a terminal treatment to keep us quiet until we go to heaven”; so like St Paul we must witness “to the message of true reconciliation” without being overly concerned with statistics or proselytism. This is a lunatic way of acting but is beautiful, for it is the scandal of the Cross. Pope Francis was speaking of reconciliation and apostolic zeal in his homily at Mass on Saturday morning, 15 June, in the Chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
He based his reflection on the day’s readings and in particular on St Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians. Christ’s love possesses us, impels us, drives us on. This speed is Paul’s: when he sees Christ’s love he cannot stand still”.
Pope Francis also pointed out that in this passage “the word ‘reconciliation’, is repeated five times, like a refrain”, to say clearly: “God reconciled us to him in Christ”. St Paul “also speaks with both force and tenderness when he says: I am an ambassador for Christ”. Paul seems to fall to his knees to implore: “We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God”, as if he had said “lower your guard” to let yourselves be reconciled to God.
Paul’s hurrying “reminds me of Mary the Pope said, setting out with haste to help her cousin. “This is the haste of the Christian message.... Here the message is, precisely, reconciliation”. “True reconciliation”, the Pope continued, “is that in Christ God took our sins upon his own shoulders and for our sake made himself sin.
This is “the mystery that motivated Paul with apostolic zeal, for it is such a marvellous thing: the love of God who, for me, handed his Son over to be killed. When Paul is confronted by this truth he says: but he loved me, he died for my sake. This is the mystery of reconciliation!”.
“Christian peace is a restive not a torpid peace”. “Christian peace impels us and this is the beginning, the root of apostolic zeal”. The Pope concluded : The love of Christ possesses us, impels us, urges us on with the emotion we feel when we see that God loves us.
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