Asks Crowd in St. Peter’s to Go Home and Read the Gospel
VATICAN CITY, March 31, 2014 (Zenit.org) – “We must not be afraid! We must open ourselves up to the Lord,” Pope Francis reflected during a brief address before praying the midday Angelus on Sunday with crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
The Pontiff discussed the Gospel of the day’s liturgy, in which Jesus restores the sight of the man born blind. The miracle immediately resulted in the religious leaders interrogating the man and his parents, and trying to deny evidence of the miracle.
Pope Francis explained how the man proclaimed Jesus as a prophet. The man truly believed and Jesus revealed his identity to him as the Messiah. Although that man was no longer blind, those around him “sunk deeper into their interior blindness.” The Holy Father asked those present to examine this irony.
He also posed a question to the thousands present in the square: “Do I have an open heart or a closed one?” He asked, are we open or closed to God and to our neighbors.
Pope Francis invited the faithful “to open yourselves up to the light of Christ to bear fruit in our life, to eliminate our non-Christian ways of acting.”
He also told the faithful to recognize that they are vulnerable to acting like the doctors of the law and begin to judge others.
He continued, “We must repent. We must stop acting in these ways so we can set out decisively on the road of sanctity.”
The Holy Father called the faithful to “walk as ‘Children of Light,'” as St. Paul had written (Ephesians 5:8), and to turn to the Virgin Mary during this Lenten journey.
After praying the Angelus, the Pope greeted some of the various groups present.
He also gave the faithful homework: “Don’t forget when you get home, open the Gospel of John, Chapter 9 and read the Gospel of the blind man who was given sight and of the people who were thought to have sight who sank deeper into their blindness.
Week four of lent
The Joy of the light of the Gospel.
Sunday 30th March 2014
It is said isn’t it that there is none so blind as they who do not want to see. We are often blind about ourselves, our own behaviour and our own thoughts and actions. The gift or grace of self-awareness, possessing an insight into the desires, motivations and drives of our own heart, is a girt of the Holy Spirit. It takes a certain courage to be able to face ourselves, confess and admit to God our fault or our blindness. However, God is always close when we come to him humbly and in need. WE are called to live humble and continue lives constantly aware of God’s mercy in order that we can show mercy.
Lord open the eyes of my heart in such a way that I always seek first your goodness, kindness and mercy because you have forgiven my sin.
Monday 31st March 2014.
One of the gifts of faith is seeing with the eyes of faith. This means that our vision is informed not simply by what we see with our eyes by also by what is unseen. It is as if being baptised gives us a spiritual sight to read and interpret our lives by a different Light. This means we begin to read the signs of the time and understand that without God our culture and our society wander aimlessly and without meaning. We also see more clearly the state of our own hearts and see that without God’s grace and mercy we would be lost and without hope in the world. We also begin to see that poverty and need is fist and foremost spiritual., people and hungry and thirsty for a knowledge and understanding of the love and mercy of God.
Lord, today may I see you more clearly, follow you more nearly and love you more dearly, day by day.
Tuesday 1st April 2014
God is truly the God of miracles, the God of surprise, However, to truly take hold of this we need what could be called, a grace of revelation light for God the Father .Flesh and blood cannot reveal this. To know deep down in our hearts, with confidence and conviction, that nothing is impossible for and with God, is a great grace and blessing. Lent is a time then for us to recover this sight and receive fresh insight into the breadth, length, width, and depth of God’s love. St Bernard of Clairvaux put it like this: ‘ So it is through tears of penitence, through striving after righteousness, and through constant compassionate living that spiritual evesight is made clear.’
Lord, grant me a grace of revelation which renews and refreshes my love for the gospel and its tender message of love, healing and forgiveness.