Wednesday 29th July 2015

Home » Pope Francis » Currently Reading:

Mass at Santa Marta – Return to the first Galilee

January 13, 2014 Pope Francis No Comments
popre166

2014-02-08 L’Osservatore Romano

Pope Francis focused his homily on “the image of a disciple” at the Mass he celebrated on Friday morning, 7 February, in the Chapel of Santa Marta. Inspired by the story of John the Baptist’s ministry and death, as told in the Gospel of Mark (6:14-29), the Pope said that John was “a man who had a short life, a short time to announce the Word of God”. He was “the man who God sent to prepare the way for his Son”.

But “John’s death is brutal”; he was beheaded at the order of Herod. He became “the price of a show for the royal court gathered at a banquet”. “Where the court was concerned many things were acceptable: corruption, vices, and crimes. The courts favoured these things”, the Pope said.

The Pope then described the figure of St John the Baptist, pointing to three fundamental characteristics. “What did John do? Before all else”, the Pope said, “he announced the Lord. He announced that the Savior, the Lord, was coming; that the Kingdom of God was near”. He proclaimed this “forcefully: baptizing and leading people to repentance”. John “was a strong man who announced Jesus Christ: he was the prophet who was closest to Jesus Christ. So close that he himself pointed others to him”. In fact, when he saw Jesus he exclaimed: “It is him!”.

The second characteristic of John, the Pope explained, “is that he did not allow himself to become possessed by his own moral authority”, even when “the opportunity to say ‘I am the Messiah’ was offered him on a platter”. John had “a great moral authority! All the people came to him. The Gospel says that the scribes would “approach him to ask ‘what should we do?’”, as did the people and even soldiers. “Repent!” was John’s reply, and “do not steal!”.

“The Pharisees and doctors” also noticed the “strength” of John, and could see that he was “a righteous man. Because of this they went to him and asked: are you the Messiah?”. To John, this was a “moment of temptation and vanity”. He could have responded: “I cannot speak about this …”, and in this way he would be “leaving the question open. Or he could respond: I do not know… with false humility”. Instead, John “was clear” and said: “No, I am not! After me comes One who is mightier than I, and I am not even worthy to bend over and untie the thong of his sandals”.

John did not fall into the temptation of stealing “the title, he did not master that trade”. He clearly proclaimed “I am a voice, and nothing more. The Word will come next. I am only a voice!”. This is the second point, that John “did not steal dignity”. He was a “man of truth”.

“The third characteristic of John”, the Pope continued “was that he imitated Christ, he imitated Jesus. He did this to the point that, in those times, the Pharisees and the doctors believed that he was the Messiah”. Even “Herod, who had him killed, believed that Jesus was John”. This very fact shows the extent to which the John had “followed the way of Jesus, especially in humility”. “John was humiliated, and humbled himself even to the end, to his death”. He went to meet the “same shameful death” as the Lord, “Jesus punished as a robber, a thief, a criminal on a cross”. John was the victim of “a weak and lustful man” who was pushed by “the hatred of an adulteress, by the whim of a dancer”. John and Jesus suffered humiliating deaths.

Like Jesus, “John too had his Garden of Gethsemane, his anguish in prison, when he questioned whether or not he was wrong”. He “sent his disciples to ask Jesus: Tell me, are you the Messiah or is it someone else and I am wrong?”. What he experienced was the “darkness of the soul”, the “darkness that purifies”. “Jesus responded to John in the same way that the Father responded to Jesus: he comforted him”. Reflecting on this darkness, the Pope Francis recalled the witness of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. This was a woman who was praised all around the world, even receiving the Nobel Prize! But she knew that for a long period of her life, there was only darkness within her”. “John too had to experience this darkness”, and through “proclaiming Jesus Christ, and not taking advantage of the prophesy”, he become “an imitator of Jesus Christ”.

In John, therefore we see the “image” and “the vocation of a disciple”. The “source of the disciple’s behaviour ‘can be seen in the Gospel when Mary visits Elizabeth, when “John danced for joy in his mother’s womb”. Jesus and John were indeed “cousins” and “perhaps they later found each other”, but that first “encounter filled John’s heart with joy, so much joy. This turned him into a disciple”, a “man who proclaims Jesus Christ, who does not put himself in Christ’s place, but instead, follows Christ’s path”.

Pope Francis concluded by suggesting that we examine our consciences, focusing “on our discipleship” through some questions: “Do we proclaim Jesus Christ? Do we profit from our condition as Christians, as if it were a privilege, or not?”. It is important in this regard to look at the example of John who “did not take advantage of the prophecy”.

“Do we choose the path of Jesus Christ, the way of humiliation, of humility, of abasing ourselves at his service?”. The Pope said that if we realize it is not the case, then it is good “to ask ourselves: when was my encounter with Jesus Christ, that encounter that filled me with joy?”. It is a way to spiritually return to that first encounter with the Lord, “to return to the first Galilee encounter: we all have one!”. The secret, the Pope said, is to “go there: meeting the Lord again and to continue down this beautiful path, on which he must increase and we must decrease.

Share Button

Comment on this Article:

Untitled 3

Pope FrancisAn Open Letter To His Holiness Pope Francis      Given the controversy and confusion surrounding the 2014 Synod on the Family, the staff of The Wanderer and its supporters thought it appropriate to address Pope Francis with an open letter . . .

Catholic officials, others react to Boy Scouts’ decision to allow openly gay leaders

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The top leaders of the National Catholic Committee on Scouting have made an uneasy peace with the Boy Scouts of America’s decision July 27 to allow openly gay troop leaders and employees to serve in their ranks…Continue Reading

The Remnant REALLY? . . . Is This How We Support Fellow Catholics Battling A Cause We Should All Be Behind?

Planned Parenthood Hires PR Firm to Run Damage Control After It’s Exposed Selling Aborted Babies

The Planed Parenthood abortion business is so desperate to put out the public relations fires that have developed in the wake of it being caught numerous times selling the body parts of aborted babies that it has hired a top…Continue Reading

More than Half of Young Catholic Families Are Latino Despite Recent Decline

More than half of young Catholic families (53 percent) identify themselves as Latino or Hispanic compared with 32 percent of all Catholics, according to a recent survey. Could the presence of Hispanic families in the Catholic Church indicate Latino congregational…Continue Reading

New York Catholic churches closing after decades of service

Parishioners in New York are losing their churches as the Catholic Archdiocese carries out an aggressive consolidation plan. The cuts are driven by declining membership, fiscal insolvency of churches, and fewer priests, according to church officials. While there are 2.8…Continue Reading

Kenyan President to Obama: You Will not Impose The ‘Gay Rights’ Agenda In Kenya

We need to speak frankly about these things” says President Kenyatta in response to Obama’s statement that Kenya must share the same values as the United States on sodomite rights issues. Kenyatta, at the press conference this morning in Kenya,…Continue Reading

Nancy Pelosi: Ignore Planned Parenthood Selling Aborted Babies, Investigate Pro-Lifers

nancyp

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi has no interest in digging deeper into the revelations that the Planned Parenthood abortion business is selling the body part of aborted babies Instead, she wants the Obama administration to investigate the pro-life activists who…Continue Reading

Carly Fiorina to Planned Parenthood: You Deny Ultrasounds to Show Women Life Within Them, but Use Ultrasounds to Preserve Organs of Their Dead Babies

Venezuela’s bishops caution against the adoption of no-fault divorce

The Venezuelan bishops last week warned that marriage and families in their nation will be weakened as a result of a court decision ruling that spouses can divorce without any evidence of wrongdoing on either’s part , Christian Telegraph reports…Continue Reading

Rationing? Obamacare Health Care Plans Have 34 Percent Fewer Doctors, Hospitals

According to the Washington Examiner, a new study reveals that Obamacare plans have 34% fewer doctors and hospitals than other health insurance plans. The information was released today by Avalere Heath and proves that exchange networks actually provide fewer heart…Continue Reading

Cdl. Vincent Nichols to Expand LGBT Ministry

WESTMINSTER, July 21, 2015 (ChurchMilitant.com) – Cardinal Vincent Nichols, president of the Catholic bishops conference of England and Wales, is pushing to expand the Church’s ministry to those in the LGBT community. Monsignor Keith Barltrop, parish priest of St. Mary…Continue Reading

LA gets three new auxiliary bishops, including Fr. Robert Barron

Los Angeles, Calif., Jul 21, 2015 / 07:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Known for his online videos which tackle everything from the saints, to the “new atheism,” to the latest blockbuster film, Fr. Robert Barron will have a new responsibility: auxiliary…Continue Reading

Newsmax

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 145 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading

Today . . .

A blessing to one another: John Paul II and the Jewish People

jp2

Vatican City, 28 July 2015 (VIS) – “A blessing to one another: Pope John Paul II and the Jewish People” is the title of an exhibition opening today in the Vatican (Charlemagne Wing, 29 July to 17 September), previously displayed in a number of state capitals in the U.S.A., where it received more than a million visitors. The exhibition, presented as a gift to John Paul II for his 85th birthday, was inaugurated at the Xavier…Continue Reading

Pope Francis: Multiply good works like the loaves and fishes

pope113

(Vatican Radio) Before the recitation of the Marian Prayer before the faithful in St Peter’s Square, Pope Francis recalled Sunday’s Gospel about the multiplication of the loaves and the fishes. The Pope explained that “Jesus satisfies not only material hunger, but the most profound of hungers, the hunger for meaning in life, the hunger for God.” He went on to say that  “in the face of suffering, loneliness, poverty and difficulties of so many people,…Continue Reading

How PPFA Manipulates Women Into “Donating” Their Babies’ Organs

By DAVE ANDRUSKO (Editor’s Note: This article is reprinted with permission from National Right to Life News Today, July 15, 2015. All rights reserved.) + + + We’ve discussed at some length a shocking hidden-camera video in which two undercover investigators are shown discussing with a high-ranking PPFA official how these supposed “procurers” of fetal tissue could work with Planned Parenthood affiliates to harvest intact baby body parts. I would also like to talk about…Continue Reading

Analyzing The Heterodoxies Of The “Shadow Council”

By MAIKE HICKSON As some readers might recall, on May 25, 2015, the presidents of the German, Swiss, and French Bishops Conferences had organized a private conference at the Gregorian University in Rome. This “Shadow Council,” as it soon was called, was criticized for its secrecy and obliqueness. The suspicion arose that this meeting was intended for preparing some revolutionary strategies and argumentation in order to promote the liberalizing agenda at the upcoming October 2015…Continue Reading

Defend The Little Sisters Of The Poor — And American Liberty

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of CNSnews.com. Creators Syndicate distributes his column. All rights reserved.) + + + No group in the United States today is making a stronger stand for liberty than the Little Sisters of the Poor, an order of Catholic nuns dedicated to running nursing…Continue Reading

Aggressive Obama, Passive National GOP . . . Is Third-Party Option Starting To Look Better?

By DEXTER DUGGAN House Speaker John Boehner said the recently released sting video of a national Planned Parenthood official at lunch, munching away and chatting about how to “crush” unborn babies to harvest their organs for money, was “disgusting.” Republican Boehner finally seemed to have found his voice in a Washington where he usually blends…Continue Reading

Is This What Determines Our Position On Common Core?

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK The mail that we receive at First Teachers is overwhelmingly opposed to Common Core, the federal government’s effort to establish education standards for the country. Certain of our correspondents object to what they see as a liberal bias in Common Core’s curriculum, while others object to what they believe are confusing…Continue Reading

When Trump Talks, People Should Listen

By REY FLORES How many of you recall the old E.F. Hutton television commercials where everyone on an airplane would stop and listen to one man when he says, “My broker is E.F. Hutton, and E.F. Hutton says….” The voiceover would then state: “When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen.” Donald Trump can do the same…Continue Reading

Thinking About The Church And Our Lives As Catholics

By PHILIP TROWER (Editor’s Note: This essay is an abridged version of a 2009 talk Philip Trower gave to the David Foster Summer School in England.) + + + I want this evening to share some thoughts with you about what being a Catholic has come to mean to me since I was received into…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Obergefell V. Hodges . . . “To Sin By Silence . . . Makes Cowards Of Men”

By FR. PETER MITCHELL (Editor’s Note: Fr. Peter Mitchell is the pastor of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Greenville, Wis. He gave this homily on the 13th Sunday of Ordinary Time, June 28 — two days after the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Obergefell v. Hodges.) + + + “To sin by silence when they…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . Like Love, Assent To Faith Is A Matter Of The Will

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Reaction to my column last week titled “Where Is There Room to Disagree With Jesus? In Hell!” included the following note from a Facebook follower. Kim wrote, “Perhaps the question posed to you was not worded correctly. How about this onea. . . . Is there a line where Catholic teachings are not something Catholics…Continue Reading

An Apologetics Course . . . Why Is The Gospel Message Unique Among Religions?

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA Part 12 In this series of articles on apologetics, we have followed a logical sequence, moving from the simpler to the more complex. So, first we saw how it makes sense that truth is objective, and not subjective; that is, our minds do not create the truth, they learn it, discover it, and grasp it from…Continue Reading

The Four Marks Of The Church — Catholicity

By DON FIER Part 3 As we continued to examine the third mark of the Church last week, that she is catholic (or universal), we saw that all mankind is called to belong to the one true Church, the new People of God. Christ’s clear mandate to His apostles was to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. In our parish it is a custom following the final blessing at Mass for the priest to lead the congregation in a prayer to St. Michael the Archangel and a Hail Mary. This past Sunday during that prayer, I was reminded of the tradition in the late 1940s and the 1950s to offer prayers for the conversion of Russia following…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Martha

By CAROLE BRESLIN A popular pilgrimage among the Catholics of southern France takes visitors to the Grotte de la Sainte-Baume, located in the hills of Provence about 20 miles east of the port of Marseilles. To reach this holy site, the driver must cover miles of winding, ascending roads to the foot of the mountain. Then the pilgrim ascends a…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Bridget

By CAROLE BRESLIN One of St. Teresa of Calcutta’s most quoted sayings would fit with this column’s saint, “God hasn’t called me to be successful. He has called me to be faithful.” What encouraging words for anyone seeking to do God’s will, knowing that the cross, the setbacks, and the obstacles are all part of working for the Kingdom of…Continue Reading