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15 December 2017

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11/16/2017 VATICAN

Pope: God's kingdom is not ‘a spectacle, the Holy Spirit cultivates it out of sight

The kingdom of God is always "a surprise" because it is "a gift given by the Lord". Jesus explains that "the kingdom of God does not come to attract attention, and no one will say, 'Here it is, or there it is.'" "It's not a show or even worse."

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The kingdom of God is not a show, "does not love advertising," it grows in secret and it is the Holy Spirit to make it grow in us, not great things, "pastoral plans." Pope Francis said in the homily of the Mass that he celebrated this morning at Casa Santa Marta, commenting on the Gospel passage (Lk 17,20-25) in which the Pharisees ask Jesus, "when will the kingdom of God come".

It is a simple question, the Pope said, which can be asked in good faith, as appears in numerous passages in the Gospel. John the Baptist, for example, when he was imprisoned, sent his disciples to Jesus to ask Him if He was the Messiah, or if they should look for another. Later, in another passage, the same question is turned around: during His Passion, the bystanders say to Jesus, “If you are he, come down from the Cross.” Pope Francis said there are always doubts, there is always curiosity about when the Kingdom of God will come.

“The Kingdom of God is in your midst”: That is the answer of Jesus. That is the “glad tidings” in the synagogue of Nazareth, when Jesus, after having read a passage from Isaiah, says that that Scripture is fulfilled “today,” in their midst. Like a seed, when it is sown, grows from within, so the Kingdom of God grows “in hiding,” in the midst “of us,” the Pope repeated. Or it is like “the gem, or the treasure,” but always in humility:But who makes that seed grow? Who makes it sprout? God, the Holy Spirit, who is within us. And the Holy Spirit is the spirit of meekness, the spirit of humility, He is the spirit of obedience, the spirit of simplicity. It is He who makes the Kingdom of God grow with, not pastoral plans, the great things… No, it is the Spirit, in hiding. He makes it grow, and the moment arrives, and the fruit appears.”

In the case of the good thief, the Pope asked when the seed of the Kingdom of God was sown in his heart. Perhaps it was his mother, Pope Francis suggested, or perhaps a rabbi when he was explaining the law. And then, perhaps, it is forgotten – but at a certain point “in hiding,” the Spirit makes it grow. What this means, the Pope said, is that the Kingdom of God is always “a surprise,” because it is “a gift given by the Lord.”

Jesus explains that “the Kingdom of God does not come in such a way that it attracts attention, and no one will say, ‘Look, there it is,’ or ‘Look, here it is.’” “It is not a show, or, even worse, a carnival,” he said, although often times we think of it that way.” “The Kingdom of God is not seen with haughtiness or pride; it does not love publicity. It is humble, hidden, and thus it grows. I think that when the people saw the Madonna, those who followed Jesus [said]: ‘That’s the mother, ah…’ The most holy woman, but in hiding. No one knew the mystery of the Kingdom of God, the holiness of the Kingdom of God. And when she was close by the Cross of her Son, the people said, ‘But the poor woman, with this criminal as a son, poor woman…’ Nothing, no one understood.”

The Kingdom of God, then, always grows in hiding, the Pope said, because it is there, in our midst, that the Holy Spirit “makes it sprout, until it bears fruit.” “We are all called to take this road of the kingdom of God: It is a vocation, it is a grace, it is a gift, it is given freely, it is not purchased, it is a grace that God gives us. And all we who are baptized have the Holy Spirit within [us]. How is my relationship with the Holy Spirit, Who makes the Kingdom of God grow within me? A good question for all of us to ask ourselves today. Do I believe this? Do I truly believe that the Kingdom of God is in the midst of us, it is hidden? Or do I like spectacle even more?”

Pope Francis concluded his homily by asking the Holy Spirit for the grace to make “make the seed of the Kingdom of God” grow in us and in the Church, with strength, “so that it might become large, give refuge to many people, and give the fruits of sanctity.”

 






See also

22/05/2017 15:39:00 VATICAN
Pope: Only the Holy Spirit can lead us to testify that Jesus is the Lord

The Holy Spirit is "a gift, the great gift of Jesus,” who does not lead us astray. “It is precisely within our hearts that we carry the Holy Spirit. The Church calls the Spirit ‘the sweet guest of the heart’: He is there. But He cannot enter a closed heart. ‘Ah, but where can one buy the keys to open the heart?’ No! That too is a gift.”



04/06/2014 VATICAN
Pope: The piety gifted us by the Holy Spirit is not pietism, no to "false piety”
At the general audience, Francis continues his series on the gifts of the Holy Spirit speaking of mercy, which "indicates our belonging to God". "If the gift of piety makes us grow in our relationship and communion with God and leads us to live as His children, at the same time it helps us to pour this love out on others and recognize them as brothers and sisters”.

13/05/2013 VATICAN
Pope: the Holy Spirit, the "unknown of our faith," is "God reminding us" of our salvation
During the Mass celebrated this morning, Francis reflects on the remarks of a group of Christians from Ephesus: "we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit." Even today, "many Christians do not know who the Holy Spirit is, what the Holy Spirit is." The Spirit is "God active in us," a "God who helps us remember" who "awakens our memory." Jesus himself says to the Apostles before Pentecost: the Spirit that God will send in my name, "will remind you of everything I have said."

08/05/2013 VATICAN
Pope: the Holy Spirit tells us that God loves us "like a father"
At the general audience, Francis speaks of the Third Person of the Trinity, "an inexhaustible source of God's life in us", "living water" promised in abundance and forever by Jesus, and guides us on the path of love, mercy and forgiveness. "Do we act according to God? Or do we let ourselves be guided by so many other things that are not really God?" is the question everyone should answer in their heart.

09/11/2017 14:47:00 VATICAN
Pope: to build, safeguard and purify the Church, we must start with ourselves

"We are all sinners: all. All of us".  Therefore we must purify ourselves continually. We must also purify the community: the diocesan community, the Christian community, the universal community of the Church. To make it grow. "




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