Find

17 January 2018

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | Contact us | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter | desktop

02/14/2017 VATICAN

Pope: Courage, prayer and humility are traits of "real missionaries" like Cyril and Methodius

"The Word of God must be proclaimed with this frankness, with this force… with courage. The person who doesn't have courage – spiritual courage, courage of heart, who is not enamored of Jesus, and from there comes courage! – No, you will say, yes, something interesting, something moral, something that will do you good, a good philanthropy, but this is not the Word of God"

 

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Frankness, prayer and humility: these are the traits that distinguish the great "heralds" that have helped grow the Church in the world. "Sowers of the Word", "missionaries", "true heralds" to form the people of God, as were Cyril and Methodius, who "made Europe stronger ", and who are its co-patrons, celebrated today by the Church.

There is need of “sowers of the Word,” of “missionaries, of true heralds to form the people of God, like Cyril and Methodius, “good heralds,” intrepid brothers and witnesses of God, patrons of Europe who have made Europe stronger. Pope Francis began his homily with these reflections, and then looked at three personality traits of an “envoy” who proclaims the Word of God. He spoke of the day’s first Reading, with the figures of Paul and Barnabas; and of the Gospel from St Luke, with the seventy-two disciples sent out two-by-two by the Lord.

The first trait of the “envoy” highlighted by Pope Francis is “frankness,” which includes “strength and courage. The Word of God cannot be given as a proposal – ‘well, if you like it…’ – or like good philosophical or moral idea – ‘well, you can live this way…’ No! It’s something else. It needs to be proposed with this frankness, with this force, so that the Word penetrates, as Paul says, ‘to the bone.’ The Word of God must be proclaimed with this frankness, with this force… with courage. The person who doesn't have courage – spiritual courage, courage of heart, who is not enamoured of Jesus, and from there comes courage! – No, you will say, yes, something interesting, something moral, something that will do you good, a good philanthropy, but this is not the Word of God. And this is incapable, this word, of forming the people of God. Only the Word of God proclaimed with this frankness, with this courage, is capable of forming the people of God.”

From the Gospel of St Luke, Pope Francis takes two other traits proper to a “herald” of the Word of God. The day’s Gospel is “a little strange” the Pope said, because it is rich in elements concerning the proclamation. “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few. So ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest,” the Pope said, repeating the words of Christ. The second trait, then, after the courage of missionaries, is “prayer.” The Word of God should be proclaimed with prayer, also. Always. Without prayer, you could have a good conference, good instruction: good, good! But it is not the Word of God. The Word of God can only come from a heart in prayer. Prayer, so that the Lord might accompany this sowing of the Word, so that the Lord might water the seed so that the Word will sprout. The Word of God should be proclaimed with prayer: the prayer of the one who proclaims the Word of God.”

In the Gospel there is also a third interesting trait: The Lord sends His disciples “like lambs amid wolves”: The true preacher is the one who knows he is weak, who knows that he cannot defend himself. ‘You are going out like a lamb among wolves’ – ‘But Lord, why would they eat me?’ – ‘You are going! This is the journey.’ And I think it was Chrysostom who has a very profound reflection, when he says: ‘But if you do not go like sheep, but you go like a wolf among wolves, the Lord, will not defend you: you’ll have to fend for yourself.’ When the preacher believes he is too intelligent, or when the one who is responsible for carrying forward the Word of God tries to be clever – ‘Ah, I can get along with these people’ – just so, it will end badly. Or you will bargain away the Word of God: to the powerful, to the proud…”

And to emphasize the humility of the great heralds, Pope Francis recalled a story told to him by someone “who boasted of preaching the Word of God well, and who felt he was a wolf.” After a good sermon, the Pope said, “he went to the confessional, and found there a ‘great fish,’ a great sinner, and he wept,… he wanted to ask for forgiveness.” And “this confessor,” the Pope continued, “began to swell up with pride” and “curiosity” and asked him which word had touched him so much “that he was moved to repent.” “It was when you said,” the Pope concluded, “let’s move on to another topic.” “I don’t know if it’s true,” the Pope clarified, but it certainly is true that you will finish badly if carry the Gospel “feeling sure of yourself, and not like a lamb, whom the Lord will defend. And so, the Pope concluded, this is the missionary character of the Church and of the great heralds, “who have planted and have helped the Church to grow in the world. They were courageous, men of prayer, and humble.” He concluded his homily with the prayer: May Sts Cyril and Methodius, help us “to proclaim the Word of God” according to these criteria, as they did. 

 






See also

01/07/2013 VATICAN
Pope: we must pray with courage, persistence, become "tiring": praying is also "negotiating with the Lord"
During Mass at the Casa Santa Marta, Francis gives the example of Abraham who tries to save Sodom from destruction. "If you want that the Lord to grant a grace, you must boldly go and do what Abraham did, with the same insistence." Jesus himself tells us that we should pray like the widow with the judge, like the one who goes at night to knock on the door of his friend. With insistence: "Jesus teaches us that."

12/01/2018 12:48:00 VATICAN
Pope: prayer is born of faith and 'courage'

It takes courage to "get to the Lord" and courage to "challenge the Lord" like the leper who said to Jesus: "If you want you can heal me". "The Lord has told us: 'Ask and it will be given to you’. We also take this Word and we trust, but always with faith and putting ourselves at stake. This is the courage that Christian prayer has. If a prayer is not courageous it is not Christian".



17/06/2009 VATICAN
Pope says all nations must “set” the Gospel in own language and culture
Politicians must pay attention to and support the role of religions in society. In his General Audience Benedict XVI calls to mind Saints Cyril and Methodius, “Apostles of the Slavs”, “examples of what today is called enculturation”.

15/02/2004 vatican
Christian Europe: a laboratory for Eastern and Western unity


22/10/2017 14:03:00 VATICAN
Pope: October 2019, an Extraordinary Missionary Month for evangelisation ad gentes

During the Angelus Pope Francis mentioned World Mission Day, entrusting “the mission of the Church in the world" to Saint John Paul II. A Letter by the pontiff about the centennial of Benedict XV's ‘Maximum Illud’ is released. "Contrasting God to Caesar would be fundamentalism." More than a hundred Claretians are canonised, martyrs of the Spanish Civil War, "to support Christians who event nowadays are subjected to discrimination and persecution in different parts of the world." The pope calls for prayers for peace in the world and Kenya.




Find
AsiaNews C.F. e P.Iva: 00889190153
desk@asianews.it


GLACOM®