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Pope: the patience of God’s people keeps the Church going

February 18, 2014 Pope Francis No Comments
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2014-02-17 Vatican Radio

 (Vatican Radio) The people of God endure the challenges of daily life with faith and patience. That – Pope Francis said – is what keeps the Church going. Speaking at morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta on Monday, the Pope commented on the Letter of St. James in which he says:  “Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds”. Patience he explained – has nothing to do with resignation – “when we endure trials with faith they ripen our lives”. He who wants everything immediately – the Pope said – he who does not know the wisdom of patience and perseverance is like a spoilt child. That kind of person – he added – is a person who does not grow, who is incapable of facing life as it presents itself. And another temptation for those who have no patience – the Pope said – is in the omnipotence of getting what you want immediately, as in the case of the Pharisees who asked Jesus for a sign form heaven: “they wanted God to perform a miracle to show that God approved of him”. “They confuse God’s way of acting with that of a sorcerer. But God does not behave like a sorcerer, God has his own way of proceeding. And God is patient. Each time we receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we sing a hymn to God’s patience. And the Lord carries us on his shoulders with much patience! Christians must live their lives in time with the music of patience, because it is the music of our fathers, of the people of God, of those who believed in his Word, who followed the commandment that the Lord gave to our father Abraham: “walk before me and be blameless”. And quoting from the Letter to the Hebrews, Pope Francis said “God’s people has suffered and has been persecuted but it has had the joy of looking forward to God’s promises”. This is the kind of patience – he said – that we must have when we are faced with trials and challenges: the patience of a mature person, the patience of God that carries us on His shoulders. This – Pope Francis said – is “the patience of our people”. And Pope Francis turned his thoughts to the many people he meets when he visits parishes who face problems and suffer. People with a disabled child or challenged by disease, but he said – “who go forward in their lives with patience”. “They do not ask for signs – he said – they know how to read the signs of the times: they know that when the fig tree blossoms spring is on its way. Those who wanted a sign from heaven did not know how to read the signs of the times, that is why they did not recognize Jesus”. Pope Francis concluded his homily praising those who  “suffer but do not lose the smile of faith. Those who have the joy of faith”: These are the people of God, in our parishes, in our institutions – so many of them – that keep the Church going with their everyday holiness. Brothers – he said: “consider it pure joy when you face trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything”.
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