Bergoglio: We’ve overcomplicated the Gospel with many explanations that no one understands!!
At this morning’s mass in St. Martha’s House, Francis said it is simple: All we need to do is listen to the Word of God instead of just reading it. Then we need to put it into practice. “God speaks to everyone of us!”
Do not complicate the Gospel: just listen to it, live it and put it into practice. Faithful must not just read it but ask themselves: ‘What is God saying to me in this Word?’ This was Francis’ advice at this morning’s mass in St. Martha’s House.
The Pope observed that the words Jesus pronounces sound new, just as His authority seems “new”: the crowds follow Him because the concepts he talks about touch, speak to people’s hearts and they perceive “the power of salvation” in them. But there are those who only follow Him “for the sake of convenience,” or just to “become better people”. Pope Francis said that little has changed in two thousand years. Even today, many listen to Jesus as did the nine lepers of the Gospel who, “happy” with their newfound health, “forgot” the Lord, who had restored it to them: “Jesus continued to talk to people and loved the people and He loved the crowd, to the point that He says, ‘these who follow me, that immense crowd, are my mother and my brothers – that’s who they are’. He explains: ‘those who listen to the Word of God, put it into practice’. These are the two conditions in order to follow Jesus: to listen to the word of God, and to put it into practice. This is the Christian life – nothing more. Simple, simple. Maybe we’ve made it a little difficult, with many explanations that no one understands, but the Christian life is thus: listening to the Word of God and practicing it,” Vatican Radio quotes the Pope saying.
“This is why when” – according to Luke’s Gospel – “the Son of God is told that his relatives are searching for him, replies: “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and put it into practice.” The point is not to hear casually, but to bend our ears – really to listen to the word of God, which we find in the Gospel – the pages of which need to be heard, and heeded, rather than merely read by rote “Listening to the Word of God,” said the Holy Father, “means reading it and then asking, ‘What does this say to me? How does this speak to my heart? What is God saying to me, with this word?”
“Every time we do this – each time we open the Gospel and read a passage and ask ourselves: ‘Is God speaking to me with this? Is He saying something to me?’ – and if He is saying something, what is it that He is saying? This is [what it means] to listen to the Word of God: to listen with your ears and hear with your heart. Open your heart to the Word of God. The enemies of Jesus heard the word of Jesus, but were there in order to try to find a mistake, to make Him slip, so that He would lose His authority. They never asked themselves, though: ‘What is God saying to me in this Word?’ God not only speaks to all: yes, he does speak to all of us – but He also speaks to to every one of us – to each of us. The Gospel was written for each of us.”
“Of course, Francis continued, “putting into practice what we have heard is “is not easy” and that “it is easier to live a mellow life without worrying about the exigencies of the Word of God.” But the Bible gives clear indications as to how to put God’s Word into practice: “the Commandments and the Beatitudes are sure guides for anyone who would really attempt to understand the requirements the Gospel places on us and act accordingly. “The Lord is merciful and forgives all,” and waits for everyone, “because He is patient.”
“Jesus receives everyone,” Francis said, “even those who go to hear the Word of God and then betray Him. Think of Judas. ‘Friend,’ He says, in that moment where Judas betrays him. The Lord is always sowing His word, and asks [us] only [to have] an open heart [with which] to listen and willingness to put it into practice.” For this reason,” the Pope concluded, “the prayer today, which is that of the Psalm [119:35]: ‘Lead me Lord in the path of thy commandments,’ that is, the path of your Word, that I may learn with your guidance to put it into practice.”