Illustrating the commandment "You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain", Francis affirms that it "calls us to demonstrate, through our actions and words, the greatness and the depth of the holy name with which we have been called". Teaching children to make the sign of the Cross properly.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - There is an invitation to a relationship with God "without hypocrisy, to a relationship in which we rely on Him with all that we are" in the commandment that says not to take His name in vain. "Respecting the name of the Lord" was the topic of the meditation of Pope Francis for today's general audience in which he also returned to reiterating the invitation to teach children to "make the sign of the cross".
To the eight thousand people present in the Paul VI hall, Francis said that in the commandment "You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain" (Ex 20: 7), "the expression" in vain" means: lightly or superficially”. It refers to an empty envelope, to a form devoid of content. It is the characteristic of hypocrisy, of formalism and of lies. Use the name of God as if 'emptied' [of meaning]".
"The name in the Bible is the intimate truth of things and above all of people. The name often represents the mission. For example, Abraham in Genesis (see 17.5) and Simon Peter in the Gospels (cf. Jn 1:42) receive a new name to indicate the change in the direction of their life. And truly knowing the name of God leads to the transformation of one's life: from the moment when Moses knows the name of God, his story changes (cf. Ex 3: 13-15) ".
"The name of God, in Jewish rites, is solemnly proclaimed on the Day of the Great Forgiveness, and the people are forgiven because through the name comes into contact with the very life of God who is mercy. Then 'taking upon oneself the name of God' means taking on us His reality, entering into a strong, close relationship with Him. For us Christians, this commandment is the call to remind us that we are baptized "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit ", as we affirm every time we make the sign of the cross on ourselves, to live our daily actions in communion felt and real with God, that is, in His love. And on this I would like to reiterate once again: teach children to make the sign of the cross ".
"One may ask: is it possible to take the name of God hypocritically, like in a formality, in a vacuum? The answer is unfortunately positive: yes, it is possible. One can live a false relationship with God ". "And this Word of the Decalogue is precisely the invitation to a relationship with God without hypocrisy, to a relationship in which we entrust ourselves to Him with all that we are. After all, until the day when we do not risk our existence with the Lord, touching with our hands that in Him we find life, we only make theories ".
"This is Christianity that touches hearts". "Why are the saints so able to touch the heart?". "Because in the saints we see what our heart deeply desires: authenticity, true relationships, radicalism. And this is also seen in those 'next door saints ' who are, for example, parents who give their children the example of a coherent, simple, honest and generous life. If Christians multiply taking upon themselves the name of God without falsehood - thus practicing the first request of the Our Father, "Hallowed be thy name" - the Church's proclamation is heard more and is more credible. If our concrete life manifests the name of God, we see how beautiful is baptism and what a great gift the Eucharist is! what a sublime union there is between our body and the Body of Christ, Christ in us and we in him! This is not hypocrisy, this is truth ".
"From the cross of Christ onwards, no one can despise himself and think badly of his own existence. Nobody ever! Whatever he did. Because each of our names are on the shoulders of Christ. It is worthwhile to take upon ourselves the name of God because He took charge of our name to the end, even of the evil that is in us, he took charge to forgive us, to put our love in our hearts. This is why God proclaims in this commandment: 'Take me on you, for I have taken you upon myself'. Anyone can invoke the holy name of the Lord, who is faithful and merciful love, in whatever situation he finds himself. God will never say 'no' to a heart that sincerely invokes him".
"It is a commandment - he emphasized in the greeting to the Arab faithful - that teaches us to pronounce the name of God only to glorify and adore it, and never to use or exploit it; it calls us to demonstrate, with our actions and words, the greatness and the profundity of the holy name with which we have been called ".
Finally, in the greeting to the Italian faithful, Francis had a thought for the victims of the tragedy, which took place in recent days in Calabria, where hikers from various regions of Italy lost their lives and he asked for prayers "so that the next trip to Dublin, on August 25th and 26th, on the occasion of the World Meeting of Families, is a moment of grace and listening to the voice of Christian families all over the world ".