Pope: without artists and without beauty, the Gospel cannot be understood
Christianity is belonging to a people, to a people chosen by God for freedom. If we do not have this consciousness of belonging to a people we would be ideological Christians, with a small doctrine of affirmation of truth, with an ethics, with a morality "or considering ourselves" an elite ".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – May the Lord bless artists, “because artists make us understand what beauty is and without beauty the Gospel cannot be understood. Let's pray again for the artists." This Pope Francis’ invitation to prayer at mass celebrated this morning at Casa Santa Marta, in the homily he commented on the passage from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 13, 13-25). In it, Paul, having arrived in Antioch in Pisidia, goes to the synagogue and tells the history of the people of Israel and proclaims Jesus, our Saviour.
When Paul is invited to speak in the Synagogue of Antioch, to explain this new doctrine, namely, to explain Jesus, to proclaim Jesus, Paul begins by talking about the history of salvation. “What is there behind Jesus? There is a history, a history of grace, a history of election, a history of promise. The Lord chose Abraham and went with His people. At the beginning of the Mass, in the hymn of the beginning, we said: “When You advanced, Lord, in front of your people and opened the way and walked next to your people, close to your people.” There is a history of God with His people. And because of this, when Paul was asked to explain the reason for faith in Jesus Christ, he doesn’t begin from Jesus Christ; he begins from the history. Christianity is a doctrine, yes, but not only. It’s not just the things that we believe: it is a history that brings this doctrine, which is God’s promise, God’s Covenant, to be chosen by God.”
Pope Francis insisted: “Christianity isn’t just ethics. Yes, truly, it has moral principles, but one is not Christian with just a vision of ethics. It is more. Christianity is not “an elite” of people chosen for truth. This elitist sense that then goes on in the Church, no? For instance, I am of that institution, I belong to this movement, which is better than yours . . . than this, than that. It’s an elitist sense. No, Christianity isn’t this: Christianity is belonging to a people, to a people chosen freely by God. If we don’t have this awareness of belonging to a people we are “ideological Christians,” with a little doctrine of affirmation of truth, with ethics, with a morality — that’s fine — or with an elite. We Christian feel part of a group; the others will go to hell or, if they are saved, it’s by God’s mercy, but they are the rejected . . . And so on. If we don’t have an awareness of belonging to a people, we’re not true Christians.”
Therefore, from the beginning Paul explains Jesus as belonging to a people. “And many times, many times, we fall into this partiality; we are dogmatic, moral or elitist, no? The sense of elitism does so much harm and we lose the sense of belonging to the holy faithful people of God, which God chose in Abraham and has promised, the great promise, Jesus, and made him go with hope and made a Covenant with him; the awareness of being a people.”
If someone asked me: “For you, what is the deviation of Christians today and always? What are, for you, the most dangerous deviations of Christians?” I would say, without a doubt: the lack of memory of belonging to a people. When this is lacking, dogmatisms, moralism, ethicalism, elitist movements come. The people are missing. A sinful people always, we are all so, but that is not generally wrong which has the scent of being a chosen people, which walks behind a promise and which has made a Covenant, which perhaps it doesn’t fulfil, but knows it.”
“Ask the Lord for this awareness, that we are a people, may Our Lady who sang beautifully her Magnificat (Cf. Luke 1:46-56); may Zechariah who sang his Benedictus so beautifully (Cf. vv. 67-79), canticles that we pray every day, in the morning and in the evening. Awareness that we are a people: we are the holy faithful people of God that, as Vatican Council I, then II say has in its totality the scent of faith and is infallible in this way of believing.”