Friday, October 14, 2016

For pope, Christians are "blessed, because they are chosen, because they are forgiven, because they forge their way” Francis, during this morning’s homily at Santa Marta House, spoke about Saint Paul's Letter to the Ephesians, for whom “The Christian is blessed by the Father, who is God”.
For the pontiff, Christians are “blessed because they are chosen, because they are forgiven, and because they forge a path”. This is “their identity”.

Highlighting the "features of this blessing," Francis drew a portrait of the good Christian. First of all, the Christian is a chosen person. In fact, God calls us one by one, "not as an oceanic crowd."

We have been chosen, expected by the Father. “Imagine a couple expecting a baby. 'How will he or she be? And how will he or she smile? And talk?' I dare say that we, each of us, has been dreamt by the Father as a father and a mother dream about their awaited baby. This gives one great security. The Father wanted you, not the mass of people, no, you, you, you. Each of us. And this foundation is the basis of our relationship with God. We speak of a Father who loves us, who chose us, who gave us a name."

Of course, Francis went on to say, this might explain how a Christian "may feel not chosen by the Father". However, when instead he or she feels as part of a community, he or she is “like a fan of a football club." The Christian “chooses a team and belongs to the football team." The Christian, therefore, "is chosen, he or she is a dream from God." And when we live like this, the pope added, "our hearts are filled with great consolation," and we do not feel abandoned” or “told to make the best of it”.

The second part of the Christian blessing is feeling forgiven. "A man or woman who does not feel forgiven," the Holy Father noted, is not fully "Christian: We have all been forgiven with the price of the blood of Christ. But what have I been forgiven for? It is a reminder of the bad things one did, not one’s friend’s, or one’s neighbours, but our own. 'What bad things have I done in life?' The Lord has forgiven these things. Here, I am blessed, I am a Christian. That is, the first part: I am chosen, dreamt by God, with a name that God gave me, loved by God. The second part is forgiven by God."

In the third part, the Christian "is a man and a woman forging towards fullness, towards an encounter with Christ who redeemed us”. "A Christian cannot stand still. The Christian must always move forward, he must forge ahead. The Christian who stands still is a Christian who received a talent and for fear of life, fear of losing, fear of his or boss, out of fear or convenience, buried it. He or she is calm and spends a life going nowhere. The Christian is a man or a woman forging ahead, on a journey, who are always doing good, trying to do good and going forward."

This, in a nutshell is the Christian identity according to pope. Christians are "blessed, because they are chosen, because they are forgiven, because they forge a path. We are not anonymous, we are not haughty", with no "need for forgiveness" or “standing still”.

"May the Lord,” the pope said, “be with us by the grace of the blessing he has given us, that is the blessing of our Christian identity."

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