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FROM THE CHAPEL OF CASA SANTA MARTA
HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
"The three dimensions of Christian life: election, promise, covenant"
Thursday, April 2, 2020
These days of pain and sadness highlight many hidden problems. In the newspaper, today, there is a photo that affects the heart: many homeless people from a city lying in a parking lot, under observation ... there are many homeless people today. We ask Saint Teresa of Calcutta to awaken in us the sense of closeness to so many people who live in society in normal life, but who, like the homeless, at the moment of the crisis, live hidden.
The Lord has always remembered his covenant. We repeated it in the Responsorial Psalm (cf. Ps. 105.8). The Lord never forgets, never forgets. Yes, forget only in one case, when you forgive sins. After forgiving he loses his memory, he does not remember sins. In other cases, God does not forget. His loyalty is memory. His loyalty to his people. His loyalty to Abraham is a reminder of the promises he had made. God chose Abraham to make a way. Abraham is an elect, he was an elect. God elected him. Then in that election he promised him an inheritance and today, in the passage from the book of Genesis, there is one more step. "As for me, my covenant is with you" (Gen. 17,4). The alliance. An alliance that shows him his fruitfulness: "you will become the father of a multitude of nations" (Gen. 17.4). The election, the promise and the covenant are the three dimensions of the life of faith, the three dimensions of the Christian life. Each of us is an elect, no one chooses to be a Christian among all the possibilities that the religious "market" offers him, he is an elect. We are Christians because we have been elected. In this election there is a promise, there is a promise of hope, the signal is fruitfulness: Abraham will be the father of a multitude of nations and ... you will be fruitful in faith (cf. Gen. 17,5-6). Your faith will flourish in works, in good works, in works of fruitfulness too, a fruitful faith. But you must - the third step - observe the covenant with me (cf. 17.9). And the covenant is loyalty, to be faithful. We have been elected, the Lord has given us a promise, now he is asking us for a covenant. An alliance of loyalty. Jesus says that Abraham exulted with joy thinking, seeing his day, the day of great fruitfulness, that his son - Jesus was the son of Abraham (cf. Jn. 8,56) - who came to redo the creation, which is more hard to do it, says the liturgy - he came to do the redemption of our sins, to free us. The Christian is a Christian not because he can show "the faith of baptism": "the faith of baptism" is a card. You are a Christian if you say yes to the election that God has made of you, if you go behind the promises that the Lord has made to you and if you live a covenant with the Lord: this is Christian life. The sins of the journey are always against these three dimensions: do not accept the election and we "elect" many idols, many things that are not of God. Do not accept hope in the promise, go, look at the promises from afar, even many times , as the Letter to the Hebrews says (cf. Heb. 6,12; Heb. 8,6), greeting them from afar and make sure that the promises are today with the little idols that we make, and forget the covenant, live without covenant , as if we were without an alliance. Fruitfulness is joy, that joy of Abraham who saw the day of Jesus and was full of joy (cf. 8,56). This is the revelation that the word of God gives us today about our Christian existence. May it be like that of our Father: conscious of being elected, joyful of going towards a promise and faithful in making the covenant.
Prayer to make spiritual communion:
People who cannot communicate now make spiritual communion.
My Jesus, I believe that you are truly present in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar. I love you above all and desire you in my soul. Since I cannot receive you sacramentally now, at least spiritually come to my heart. As already came, I embrace you and I join you all. Don't let it ever separate me from you. Amen.
FULL TEXT + Image Source: Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation