Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Mainly women pass on the faith, because the one who brought us Jesus is a woman. It is the path chosen by Jesus", said Pope Francis during his homily at Mass celebrated today at Casa Santa Marta, commenting on the Second Letter of St. Paul to Timothy, in which the Apostle reminds Timothy of where his "sincere faith" comes from: his faith comes from the Holy Spirit, "through his mother and grandmother." " It is for us, then, to safeguard it and revive it.
Pope Francis said: "Mothers and grandmothers are the ones who transmit the faith: It is one thing to pass on the faith, and another to teach the matters of faith. Faith is a gift: it is not possible to study Faith. We study the things of faith, yes, to understand it better, but with study one never comes to Faith. Faith is a gift of the Holy Spirit, which surpasses all formation. Faith, moreover, is a gift that passes from generation to generation, through the "beautiful work of mothers and grandmothers, the fine work of the women who play those roles," in a family, "whether they be maids or aunts," who transmit the faith.
"I wonder - the Pope said - why is it mainly women, who to pass on the faith? Simply because the one who brought us Jesus is a woman. It is the path chosen by Jesus. He wanted to have a mother: the gift of faith comes to us through women, as Jesus came to us through Mary. We need in our own day to consider whether women really are aware of the duty they have to transmit the faith. Paul invites Timothy to guard the Faith, the deposit of Faith, avoiding empty pagan chatter, empty chatter of the world. We have - all of us - received the gift of faith: we have to keep it, at least in order that it not become watered down, so that it remains strong, with the power of the Holy Spirit who gave it to us." We keep the faith by cherishing and nurturing it every day.
"If we do not have this care, every day, to revive this gift of God which is Faith, but rather let faith weaken, become diluted, Faith ends up being a culture: 'Yes, but, yes, yes, I am a Christian, yes yes,' - a mere culture - or a gnosis, [specialized kind of] knowledge: 'Yes, I know well all the matters of Faith, I know the catechism'. But how do you live your faith? This, then, is the importance of reviving every day this gift: to bring it to life".
Saint Paul says that there are two things in particular, which contrast with a living Faith: "the spirits of timidity and of shame": God has not given us a spirit of timidity. The spirit of timidity goes against the gift of faith: it does not let faith grow, advance, be great. Shame, in turn, is the following sin, [which says]: 'Yes, I have Faith, but I cover it up, that it not be seen too much'. It's a little bit here, a little bit there - it is, as our forebears called it, a "rosewater" Faith - because I am ashamed to live it powerfully. No: this is not the Faith: [Faith knows] neither timidity nor shame. What is it, then? It is a spirit of power and of love and of prudence: that is what Faith is This is the faith. "
"The spirit of prudence is knowing that we cannot do everything we want: it means looking for the ways, the path, the manners by which to carry the Faith forward, cautiously. "We ask the Lord's grace," he concluded, "that we might have a sincere Faith, a Faith that is not negotiable depending on the opportunities that come, a Faith that every day I try to revive or at least ask the Holy Spirit to revive it, and make it bear much fruit."