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Friday, June 28, 2013
POPE FRANCIS "THE MYSTERY OF GOD'S PATIENCE" AND MEETING OF ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE
Vatican Radio REPORT: The Lord asks us to be patient, after all He is always patient with us. Moreover there is no "set protocol" for how God intervenes in our lives; sometimes it's immediate, sometimes we just have to have a little patience. This was the lesson drawn by Pope Francis from the daily readings at Mass Friday morning in Casa Santa Marta. Emer McCarthy reports:
The Lord slowly enters the life of Abraham, who is 99 years old when He promises him a son. Instead He immediately enters the life of the leper, Jesus listens to his prayer, touches him and preforms a miracle. Pope Francis went on to speak of how the Lord chooses to become involved "in our lives, in the lives of His people." The lives of Abraham and the leper. "When the Lord intervenes - said the Pope– He does not always do so in the same way. There is no ‘set protocol’ of action of God in our life", "it does not exist ". Once, he added, "He intervenes is one way, another time in a different way” but He always intervenes. There is "always - he said - this meeting between us and the Lord".
"The Lord always chooses His way to enter into our lives. Often He does so slowly, so much so, we are in danger of losing our 'patience', a little. But Lord, when? 'And we pray, we pray ... And He doesn’t intervene in our lives. Other times, when we think of what the Lord has promised us, that it such a huge thing, we don’t believe it, we are a little skeptical, like Abraham – and we smile a little to ourselves ... This is what it says in the First Reading, Abraham hid his face and smiled ... A bit 'of skepticism:' What? Me? I am almost a hundred years old, I will have a son and my wife at 90 will have a son? '.
Sarah is equally skeptical, the Pope recalled, at the Oaks of Mamre, when the three angels say the same thing to Abraham. "How often, when the Lord does not intervene, does not perform a, does not do what we want Him to do, do we become impatient or skeptical?"
"But He does not, He cannot for skeptics. The Lord takes his time. But even He, in this relationship with us, has a lot of patience. Not only do we have to have patience: He has! He waits for us! And He waits for us until the end of life! Think of the good thief, right at the end, at the very end, he acknowledged God. The Lord walks with us, but often does not reveal Himself, as in the case of the disciples of Emmaus. The Lord is involved in our lives - that's for sure! - But often we do not see. This demands our patience. But the Lord who walks with us, He also has a lot of patience with us. "
The Pope turned his thoughts to "the mystery of God's patience, who in walking, walks at our pace." Sometimes in life, he noted, "things become so dark, there is so much darkness, that we want - if we are in trouble - to come down from the cross." This, he said, "is the precise moment: the night is at its darkest, when dawn is about to break. And when we come down from the Cross, we always do so just five minutes before our liberation comes, at the very moment when our impatience is greatest ".
"Jesus on the Cross, heard them challenging him: 'Come down, come down! Come '. Patience until the end, because He has patience with us. He always enters, He is involved with us, but He does so in His own way and when He thinks it's best. He tells us exactly what He told Abraham: Walk in my presence and be blameless', be above reproach, this is exactly the right word. Walk in my presence and try to be above reproach. This is the journey with the Lord and He intervenes, but we have to wait, wait for the moment, walking always in His presence and trying to be beyond reproach. We ask this grace from the Lord, to always walk in His presence, trying to be blameless'.
SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA
POPE MEETS WITH ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis met on Friday with a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople which is in Rome to attend celebrations for Saturday’s feast of Saints Peter and Paul. Traditionally, as spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians worldwide, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew 1st sends a delegation to Rome each June 29th, while a Catholic delegation travels to Istanbul each November 30th to mark the feast of St Andrew, patron of the Orthodox world.
In his meeting with the Orthodox representatives, led by Metropolitan Ioannis Zizioulas, Pope Francis spoke of important progress in the official dialogue between Catholics and Orthodox, which has already produced many joint documents. The Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue, co-chaired by Metropolitan Ioannis, and Cardinal Kurt Koch, is currently studying the key question of primacy and collegiality in the Church of the first century, one of the main obstacles on the road to unity and reconciliation between the East and Western Churches, which divided in 1054.
In his address to the delegation, Pope Francis said “It is significant that today we are able to reflect together, in truth and love, on these issues, starting with what we have in common, but without hiding that which still separates us. This is not merely a theoretical exercise, but one of getting to know each other's traditions, in order to understand, and sometimes to learn from them as well. We know very well,” the Pope said, “that unity is primarily a gift from God for which we must pray without ceasing, but we all have the task of preparing the conditions, of cultivating the soil of the heart, so that this extraordinary grace can be received.”
Please find below a Vatican Radio translation of the full text:
Dear Brothers in Christ,
I am particularly pleased to greet you with a warm welcome to the Church of Rome, which is celebrating its patron saints Peter and Paul. Your presence in this circumstance is a sign of the deep bond that unites the Church of Constantinople and the Church of Rome in faith, hope and love. The beautiful custom, which began in 1969, of exchanging delegations between our Churches for their patronal feast days , is for me a source of great joy: fraternal encounter is an essential part of the journey towards unity. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Your Holiness Bartholomew I and the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, who wanted to once again send a high level delegation. I remember with fraternal affection the gesture of exquisite attention shown to me by Your Holiness Bartholomew, when you honored me with your presence at the celebration of the beginning of my ministry as Bishop of Rome. I am also very grateful to Your Eminence, for your participation in this event and I am happy to see you again on this occasion.
The search for unity among Christians is an urgency which, today more than ever, we cannot ignore. In our world, hungry and thirsty for truth, love, hope, peace and unity, it is important for our own witness, to be finally able to announce with one voice the good news of the Gospel and to celebrate the Divine Mysteries of the new life in Christ! We know very well that unity is primarily a gift from God for which we must pray without ceasing, but we all have the task of preparing the conditions, of cultivating the soil of the heart, so that this extraordinary grace can be received.
A fundamental contribution to the search for full communion between Catholics and Orthodox is offered by the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue, co-chaired by Your Eminence, Metropolitan Ioannis, and by my venerable brother Cardinal Kurt Koch. I sincerely thank you for your valuable and tireless commitment. This Commission has already produced many common texts and is now studying the delicate issue of theological and ecclesiological relationship between primacy and synodality in the life of the Church. It is significant that today we are able to reflect together, in truth and love, on these issues, starting with what we have in common, but without hiding that which still separates us. This is not merely a theoretical exercise, but one of getting to know each other's traditions in order to understand, and sometimes also to learn from them. I refer for example to the reflection of the Catholic Church on the meaning of episcopal collegiality, and the tradition of synodality, so typical of the Orthodox Churches. I am confident that the effort of shared reflection, so complex and laborious, will bear fruit in due time. I am comforted to know that Catholics and Orthodox share the same conception of dialogue that does not seek a theological minimalism on which to reach a compromise, but rather is based on the deepening of the one truth that Christ has given to His Church, which we never cease to understand better as we are moved by the Holy Spirit. For this, we should not be afraid of encounter and of true dialogue. It does not take us away from the truth, but rather, through an exchange of gifts, it leads us, under the guidance of the Spirit of truth, to the whole truth (cf. Jn 16:13).
Venerable Brothers, I thank you once again for being here with us for the feast of Saints Peter and Paul. We confidently invoke their intercession and that of the Holy Apostle Andrew, the brother of Peter, for our faithful and for the needs of the whole world, especially the poor, the suffering and those who are unjustly persecuted because of their faith. Finally, I ask you to pray for me and to ask others to pray for me, so that the Lord may help me in my ministry as Bishop of Rome and Successor of Peter.
SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA