O Lord Thou shalt open my lips and my mouth shall declare Thy praise.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Homily and Theology of Pope Francis

With a H/T to Whispers in the Loggia, here is PF's (We really need a short nickname for Pope Francis. Can his nickname be PF? Can anyone come up with a better one? He has no number until another guy takes the name Francis.) homily for the Mass to close the Conclave:
In these three readings [Isaiah 2:2-5, 1 Peter 2:4-9, Matthew 16:13-19] I see that there is something in common: it is movement. In the first reading, movement is the journey [itself]; in the second reading, movement is in the up-building of the Church. In the third, in the Gospel, the movement is in [the act of] profession: walking, building, professing.

Walking: the House of Jacob. “O house of Jacob, Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord.” This is the first thing God said to Abraham: “Walk in my presence and be blameless.” Walking: our life is a journey and when we stop, there is something wrong. Walking always, in the presence of the Lord, in the light of the Lord, seeking to live with that blamelessness, which God asks of Abraham, in his promise.

Building: to build the Church. There is talk of stones: stones have consistency, but [the stones spoken of are] living stones, stones anointed by the Holy Spirit. Build up the Church, the Bride of Christ, the cornerstone of which is the same Lord. With [every] movement in our lives, let us build!

Third, professing: we can walk as much we want, we can build many things, but if we do not confess Jesus Christ, nothing will avail. We will become a pitiful NGO, but not the Church, the Bride of Christ. When one does not walk, one stalls. When one does not built on solid rocks, what happens? What happens is what happens to children on the beach when they make sandcastles: everything collapses, it is without consistency. When one does not profess Jesus Christ - I recall the phrase of Leon Bloy – “Whoever does not pray to God, prays to the devil.” When one does not profess Jesus Christ, one professes the worldliness of the devil.

Walking, building-constructing, professing: the thing, however, is not so easy, because in walking, in building, in professing, there are sometimes shake-ups - there are movements that are not part of the path: there are movements that pull us back.

This Gospel continues with a special situation. The same Peter who confessed Jesus Christ, says, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. I will follow you, but let us not speak of the Cross. This has nothing to do with it.” He says, “I’ll follow you on other ways, that do not include the Cross.” When we walk without the Cross, when we build without the Cross, and when we profess Christ without the Cross, we are not disciples of the Lord. We are worldly, we are bishops, priests, cardinals, Popes, but not disciples of the Lord.

I would like that all of us, after these days of grace, might have the courage - the courage - to walk in the presence of the Lord, with the Cross of the Lord: to build the Church on the Blood of the Lord, which is shed on the Cross, and to profess the one glory, Christ Crucified. In this way, the Church will go forward.

My hope for all of us is that the Holy Spirit, that the prayer of Our Lady, our Mother, might grant us this grace: to walk, to build, to profess Jesus Christ Crucified. So be it.
True to what His Beatitude Svyatoslav, Patriarch of Kiev, said of him, his homily is short, but filled with rich enough theology to evoke much thought. There are various points in his homily that I would elaborate further on, especially the prophecy from Isaias-and I'm shy and quiet, so that really says something about how quiet this guy is. What HB actually said about his brevity was:
I can attest to the fact that his homilies are quite short, sometimes no longer than five or six sentences, but he manages to fill them with such deep meaning, always leaving the faithful in silent contemplation upwards of five-to-seven minutes.
(Full Statement Here)

His Holiness is very sharp and faithful on theology and doctrine. It's is the fact that he is ineffective at fixing problems in the Church and so very intimidated by his new job that should have us worried and, not condemning him, but rather praying to the Theotokos-to whom he resorted so quickly-to make him strong enough to fix the great laxity in the Church. At the same time we must pray that those of us faithful to Church teaching stop arguing with each other and complaining about how one is too traditional or not traditional enough and instead pray to the Theotokos to end the great laxity in the Church.