Vatican City ( AsiaNews) - There is
an everyday temptation to "to flee from God," and sometimes a sinner,
someone who is "distant" may be able to hear "the voice of God," to
let "God write his lifestory", while a Christian may want to "flee"
to "write " for their own lifestory themselves.
This was the lesson that Pope Francis drew from the story of Jonah and the Good at Mass celebrated this morning at Casa Santa Marta .
As reported by Vatican Radio, the
Pope pointed out that Jonah serves the Lord , prays a lot and does good , but
when the Lord calls him he tries to flee, because he "had written his lifestory"
and " did not want to be disturbed." The
Lord sent him to Nineveh , and instead he " took a ship for Spain. He was
fleeing from the Lord ."
"Fleeing from God. You can flee from God, even if you are Christian, Catholic , a member of Catholic Action, a priest , bishop , Pope ... all of us, we can all flee from God! It is an everyday temptation. Not listening to God, to his voice, not feeling His proposal, His invitation in our heart of hearts. We can flee immediately. There are other ways to flee from God , a little better mannered , a little more sophisticated , no ? In the Gospel , there is this half dead man, lying on the roadside, and by chance a priest was going down that road - a worthy priest, wearing his cassock , good , very good ! He saw the man and looked at him: 'I will be late for Mass ' , and he passed him by. He did not heard the voice of God there. " Then comes a Levite, who , says the Pope , will have perhaps thought, " If I take him or if I approach him, maybe he will be dead, and tomorrow I will have to go to the judge and to give testimony ... " and hepassed on. He, too , says the Pope , flees "from this voice of God ."
"The only someone able to
understand the voice of God is someone who usually flees from God, a sinner
," a Samaritan. This
person, he notes , "is a sinner , distant from God," and yet "
he heard the voice of God and drew near." The
Samaritan "realized that God was calling him, and did not run away ."
He went to him and bandaged his wounds , pouring oil and wine on them, then he
set him on his horse " and even " took him to an inn, and took care
of him. He spent the entire evening with
"The priest arrived in time for the Holy Mass, and all the faithful were happy, and the Levite had , the next day, a quiet day just as he wanted, without all the bother of having to go to the judge and all these things ... and why did Jonah flee from God? Why did the priest flee from God? Why did the Levite flee from God? Because they had closed heart, and when you have closed hearts you can not hear the voice of God. Instead, a Samaritan , as he journeyed ' saw him and had compassion ' : he had an open heart , he was human . And his humanity drew him close. "
"Jonah had a life plan : he wanted to write his story ," and it was the same with the priest and the Levite . " A plan of action." But, said the Pope , this sinner , the Samaritan "let him write his life. God changed everything that night , because the Lord has approached the person of this poor man , wounded, badly wounded, dying on the roadside" :
"I ask myself and I ask you : Do you let God write your life story or do you want to write it yourselves? And this tells us about docility : are obedient to the Word of God? ' Yes , I want to be docile ! ' . But you, do you have ability to listen , to hear it ? Do you have the ability to find the Word of God in your every day life, or are your ideas what keep you going? Or do you allow yourself to be surprised by what the Lord has to say to you? "
" Three people flee from God - summed up the Pope - and another in an irregular situation" is "able to listen , open his heart and not run away". I'm sure , said the Pontiff, we all see that " the Samaritan , the sinner , did not flee from God." The Lord , he concluded, "may allow us to hear His voice, His voice , which tells us : Go and do likewise".
"Not just see but look. Not just hear but listen. Not just meet and pass by but stop. And don’t just say ‘what a shame, poor people,’ but allow ourselves to be moved by pity. And then draw near, touch and say in the language that comes to each one of us in that moment, the language of the heart: ‘Do not weep,’ and donate at the very least a drop of life".
To know how much God loves us, we only have to contemplate the Crucifix: a tortured man, a God," emptied of divinity"," dirtied" by sin. But a God whose self-abasement forever destroys the real name of evil, that which Revelation calls "the ancient serpent".
"God is always faithful, for He cannot repudiate Himself" while the people did not give ear to His word. The Lord "tells us: 'Return to me with all your heart, for I am compassionate and merciful'. But when a person’s heart is hard they do not understand. The mercy of God can only be understood if we are able to open our heart, and let it in".