reflections, updates and homilies from Deacon Mike Talbot inspired by the following words from my ordination: Receive the Gospel of Christ whose herald you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe and practice what you teach...
“Either you are with Jesus or you are against Jesus,” said Pope Francis, during the Mass he celebrated at Saint Martha’s on March 28, 2019. In his homily, reported by “Vatican News,” he invited to open one’s heart to the Lord because “there is still time.”
“So often we are deaf and we don’t listen to the Lord’s voice. We listen to info, the neighbourhood gossip: we always listen to this,” observed the Pontiff, commenting on today’s First Reading. He stressed the “Lord’s lamentation” in face of “obstinate people, who don’t want to listen,” who “cover their ears,” who have “lost the sense of faithfulness.”
He invited Christians to ask themselves if they have also acted as if God “didn’t count.” “Have I lost fidelity to the Lord?” – “No, no, I go to Mass every Sunday . . . “”Yes, yes, but . . . is my heart hard, obstinate, deaf, does it let the Lord enter or rather arranges three or our things and then does what it likes?”
“It’s a question for each one of us,” stressed the Holy Father. “We must all pose it.” And, he warned, when he who doesn’t listen to the Lord and hardens his heart, finds himself in face of “something . . . that he doesn’t like, he abandons the Lord under some pretext, he discredits the Lord, slanders and defames Him.”
“So in the Gospel, Jesus is accused of casting out demons “by Beelzebub, leader of the demons”: it’s the penultimate stage of rejection of the Lord,” before “the stage with no return, which is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.” “He who is not with Me is against Me,” warns Jesus. “’No, no I am with Jesus, but at a certain distance, I don’t get too close,’ no, that doesn’t exist. You are either with Jesus or you are against Jesus; you are either faithful or you are unfaithful; either you have an obedient heart or you have lost fidelity.”
However, the Pope concluded by inviting not to lose hope, because “there is still time”: Come back to Me with all your heart,’ says the Lord, ‘because I am merciful and compassionate, I will forget all. What matters to Me is that you return to Me” . . . And He forgets all the rest. It’s the time of mercy; it’s the time of the Lord’s pity: let us open our hearts so that He comes in us.”