MORNING CELEBRATION BROADCASTED LIVE FROM THE CHAPEL OF CASA SANTA MARTA HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
"Faith must be transmitted, it must be offered, especially with witness"
Saturday, April 25, 2020
Let's pray together today for people performing funeral services. What they do is so painful, so sad, and they feel the pain of this pandemic so close. Let us pray for them.
Today the Church celebrates San Marco, one of the four evangelists, very close to the apostle Peter. Mark's Gospel was the first to be written. It's simple, a simple style, very close. If you have some time today, take it in hand and read it. It is not long, and it is a pleasure to read the simplicity with which Marco recounts the life of the Lord.
And in the Gospel we have read now - which is the end of Mark's Gospel - there is the sending of the Lord. The Lord revealed himself as savior, as the only Son of God; it has revealed itself to all Israel, to the people, especially in more detail to the apostles, to the disciples. This is the leave of the Lord, the Lord leaves: he left and "was raised to heaven and sat at the right hand of God" ( Mk 16:19). But before leaving, when he appeared to the Eleven, he said to them: "Go into all the world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature" ( Mc16,15). There is the missionary nature of faith. Faith is either missionary or not faith. Faith is not a thing only for me, because I grow with faith: this is a Gnostic heresy. Faith always leads you out of yourself. Go out. The transmission of faith; faith must be transmitted, it must be offered, especially with the testimony: "Go, let people see how you live" (cf. v. 15).<br>
Someone told me, a European priest, of a European city: “There is so much unbelief, so much agnosticism in our cities, because Christians have no faith. If they did, they would surely give it to people. " Missionariness is missing. Because the conviction is missing at the root: "Yes, I am a Christian, I am a Catholic ...". As if it were a social attitude. In the identity card you are called so and so ... and "I am a Christian". It is an identity card data. This is not faith! This is a cultural thing. Faith necessarily takes you out, it leads you to give it: because faith must essentially be transmitted. It is not quiet. "Ah, you mean, father, that we all have to be missionaries and go to distant countries?". No, this is a part of missionary nature. This means that if you have faith you must necessarily go out of yourself, and to show faith socially. Faith is social, it is for everyone: "Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature" (v. 15). And this does not mean proselytizing, as if I were a proselytizing football team, or I was a charity. No, faith is: "no proselytism". It is to show revelation, so that the Holy Spirit can act in people through testimony: as a witness, with service. Service is a way of life. If I say that I am a Christian and I live as a pagan, it does not go! This does not convince anyone. If I say that I am a Christian and live as a Christian, this attracts. It is the testimony.
Once, in Poland, a university student asked me: “In university I have many atheist companions. What do I have to tell them to convince them? " - “Nothing, dear, nothing! The last thing you need to do is say something. Start living, and they, seeing your testimony, will ask you: 'Why do you live like this?' ". Faith must be transmitted: not to convince but to offer a treasure. "It's there, you see?" And this is also the humility of which Saint Peter spoke in the First Reading: "Dear friends, clothe yourselves all with humility towards one another, because God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble" ( 1Pt 5,5). How many times in the Church, in history, have movements, aggregations, of men or women born that wanted to convince of the faith, convert ... True "proselytists". And how did they end up? In corruption.
This passage of the Gospel is so tender! But where's the security? How can I be sure that by leaving me I will be fruitful in the transmission of faith? "Proclaim the Gospel to every creature" ( Mk 16:15), you will do wonders (cf. vv. 17-18). And the Lord will be with us until the end of the world. It accompanies us. In the transmission of faith, the Lord is always with us. In the transmission of ideology there will be teachers, but when I have an attitude of faith that must be transmitted, there is the Lord who accompanies me. In the transmission of faith, I am never alone. It is the Lord with me who transmits the faith. He promised it: "I will be with you every day until the end of the world" (cf. Mt 28,20).
Let us pray to the Lord to help us live our faith like this: faith from open doors, a transparent faith, not a "proselytizing" one, but showing: "I am like this". And with this healthy curiosity, you help people receive this message that will save them.
Prayer for spiritual communion
At your feet, O my Jesus, I bow down and offer you the repentance of my contrite heart that abysses itself in its nothingness and in your holy presence. I adore you in the sacrament of your love, the ineffable Eucharist. I wish to receive you in the poor abode that my heart offers you; waiting for the happiness of sacramental communion I want to possess you in spirit. Come to me, or Jesus, that I come to you. May your love inflame my whole being for life and death. I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you. Amen
Full Text + Image Source: Vatican.va Unofficial Translation -