23rd June

This is an excerpt of Pope Francis’ Sunday homily on the gospel of Jesus calming the sea.pope francis1

“The readings we have heard should us how God’s love for us is a faithful love, a love that recreates everything, a stable and secure love”, said Francis in his homily. “It is a love that does not deceive us, that never ends. Jesus incarnates that love: it is his Testament. He never ceases to love us, to support us, to forgive us, and so it leads us down the path of life, according to the promise He made to His disciples: ‘I am with you always, to the end of the age’. Jesus remains faithful, even when we make mistakes, and he awaits us to forgive us: He is the face of the merciful Father. He is faithful love”.

“The second aspect: the love of God recreates everything, it makes all things new. … Acknowledging our limits and weaknesses is the door that opens up to Jesus’ forgiveness, to His love that can renew us profoundly and can recreate us. Salvation can enter into the heart when we open up to the truth and acknowledge our errors, our sins; it is then that we have that beautiful experience of Him, of He who came not for the healthy, but for the sick; not for the righteous, but for sinners. … The sign that we have become ‘new’ and have been transformed by God’s love is knowing how to cast aside the worn and old robes of rancour and enmities, to re-clothe us in the clean tunic of meekness, benevolence, service to others, and the peace of the heart proper to the sons of God. … God’s love is stable and secure … as Jesus shows in the miracle narrated in the Gospel, when He calms the storm, commanding the wind and the sea. The disciples are afraid as they realise they are not able to cope, but He opens their heart to the courage of faith. To the man who cries, ‘I can’t do it any more’, the Lord reaches out, offering him the rock of His love, to which anyone can hold, sure of not falling”.

“We can ask ourselves if today we rest firmly on the rock that is God’s love; whether we live God’s faithful love for us. There is always the risk of forgetting that great love the Lord has shown to us. We Christians too run the risk of letting ourselves be paralysed by fears of the future and seeking security in transient things, in a model of a closed society that tends to exclude more than it includes”.

“May the Holy Spirit help us always to be conscious of this love that, like a rock makes us stable and strong in sufferings small and great; that makes us able not to close ourselves up when faced with difficulties, to face life with courage and to look to the future with hope. As then, on the lake of Galilee, today too in the sea of our existence Jesus is He Who vanquishes the forces of evil and the threats of despair. The peace He gives us is for all; even for many brothers and sisters who flee from wars and persecutions in search of peace and freedom”.