» 12/17/2013, 00.00
Pope: birthday wishes from employees and four homeless
“Family" atmosphere at the Mass celebrated by Francis on his 77th birthday. God "has made history. God chose to become history. He is with us. Has made the journey with us". "But what is the name of God? We are, each of us . He takes His surname from each of us. ‘I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Pedro, of Marietta , Armony , Marisa , of Simon, of all! ' .
Vatican City ( AsiaNews) - A "family"
atmosphere pervaded Mass celebrated by Pope Francis on his 77th birthday today. Marking the occasion, the Pope wanted the staff
of Casa Santa Marta - where he lives - to participate in the Mass with him. The Secretary
of State , Msgr. Pietro
Parolin and the dean of the College of Cardinals , Angelo Sodano were also
there to wish the Pope a happy birthday. And
even four homeless people who live in the area near the Vatican. Everyone, after the
ceremony, had breakfast together.
In his homily,
Vatican Radio reports, Pope Francis took a cue from today's
Gospel, focusing on the genealogy of Jesus, to dwell on the Lord's presence in
our lives. "I once heard someone say: ' But this Gospel is like reading
the phone book!' No, it is quite another thing: this Gospel story is pure history
and has an important topic. It
is pure history, because God, as Pope St. Leo said, God sent forth his Son. And
Jesus is consubstantial with the Father, God, but also inseparable from his Mother,
a woman. And
this is the consubstantiality of the Mother. God has made history. God chose to become history. He is with us. He made the journey with us. "
After the first sin in Paradise,
the Pope said , "He had this idea: to make the journey with us." He
called Abraham, "the first named on this list " and " invited
him to walk with Him." And Abraham "began that
journey". And then
Isaac, Jacob, Judah. "And so the journey continues
down through history". God, the Pope said, "walks with his people. God did not want to
come to save us without history. He wanted to make history with us".
A history, he said, "that goes from holiness to sin. In
this list there are saints", " but there are also sinners " :
"Top rate sinners who have
committed major sins. And God
has made history with them. Sinners,
who have not responded to all that God thought for them. We
think of Solomon, so great, so smart, and ended up, poor fellow, not evening
knowing his name! But God was with
him. And that is beautiful, is not
it? God is consubstantial with
us. He makes history with us. What's
more, when God wants to say who He is, He says ' I am the God of Abraham ,
Isaac and Jacob ' . But what
is God's family name? We are,
each of us . He takes our names
as His last name . 'I
am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Pedro , of Marietta , of Armony ,
Marisa , of Simon, of them all! He takes His surname from ours. We are, each of us, the name of God".
"He is our God - he added - He
has made history with us took our name from His surname", "allowed us
to write history". "We
write this story of grace and sin , and He follows us". This
, he reiterated , " is the humility of God , God's patience , love of
God. He is ours!" And this, he
confided, moves us. "So much
love , so much tenderness , to have such a God " :
joy was sharing His life with us. The
Book of Wisdom says that the joy of the Lord is among the children of men, with
Christmas, it makes us think, if He has made history with us, if He took his
surname from us, if He has left us we write history, we should at least let Him
write our history. And
that is holiness: ' Let the Lord write our history ' . And this is a Christmas
greeting for all of us. That
the Lord will write our history and that you let Him write it. So be it! "
Pope: Christians and the temptation to "sell ourselves" to be "normal" and "like everyone else"
In the homily at Mass in Santa Marta, Pope Francis warns Christians against the "worldly normality", which forgets the election we have received and induces us to live with an "inferiority complex" not being "normal people " . In order not to fall into this trap, it is important to open our hearts to the Word of God, to walk the "true" path.
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To know how much God loves us, we only have to contemplate the Crucifix: a tortured man, a God," emptied of divinity"," dirtied" by sin. But a God whose self-abasement forever destroys the real name of evil, that which Revelation calls "the ancient serpent".
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Pope: true faith is seeing Jesus in the poor person who knocks at our door
Commenting on the parable of the rich man, Francis notes that the Gospel he does not mention his name. "This wealth, this is power, this can accomplish anything, this is a priest with a career, a bishop with a career ... How often do we too do this... label people with adjectives, not names, because they have no substance."
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Pope: Christianity is "concrete", it is not a religion "of mere talk" but "of action"
God says: "relieve the oppressed, do right by the orphan, plead for the widow." "This is the Christian life. Instead, mere talk leads to vanity, to that empty pretense of being Christian – but no, that way one is not a Christian at all".
Liu Xiaobo: a torch that enlightens human civilization
The testimony of the great nonviolent dissident is the highest contribution to humanity in the last (sterile) 500 years of Chinese history. A priest from North China offers an elegy in memory of Liu (and his wife).
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