Monday, December 11, 2017

A Papal Advent Homily that goes along with my Advent goal of more kindness

Santa Marta: Let Go of Grudges, Complaints
Pope Urges Faithful to Be Consoled by the Lord

© PHOTO.VA - Osservatore Romano
Leave behind grudges and complaints, and let yourselves be consoled by the Lord.
According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis gave this reminder today, Dec. 11, 2017, during his daily morning Mass in his residence Casa Santa Marta, as he reflected on the day’s first reading from the Prophet Isaiah, who says God comes to give us peace.
The Pope observed that we — similar to the first disciples– have trouble letting ourselves being consoled by the miracles God performs in our lives, just like they had trouble immediately accepting the Resurrection.
What is easier for us, the Pope noted, is to console others, rather than to let ourselves be consoled.
“So often, we are attached to the negative sins and scars in our hearts and we prefer to remain there on our sick bed, like the paralyzed man in St Luke’s Gospel,” the Pope lamented, saying we do not want “to hear Jesus telling us to ‘Get up and walk!’”
We prefer, Francis suggested, to bear grudges and “to stew in our own juice” because then we remain masters of our own “hard hearts.”
“Like the paralyzed man,” the Pope explained, we prefer the ‘bitter root’ of original sin than the sweetness of God’s consolation.”
This bitterness, the Holy Father observed, always leads us to complain, “with a constant whining as the soundtrack to our lives.” The Pontiff recalled the prophet Job “as the Nobel prize winner of whiners,” who complained about all that God did.
Faced with our complaining, the Church–the Pope undersored–says we must have courage.
Pope Francis concluded, urging those present to let God give them peace, and to look into their consciences and hearts, to let go of the bitterness, sadness, and complaints.

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