Faith is not founded upon human wisdom, but on the power of God, as made manifest in the Gospel. This was one of the main themes of Pope Francis' homily on Monday morning, resuming daily Mass at the Santa Marta residence following the summer holidays. Addressing the congregation, the Pope said that we do not read the Gospel simply to learn, but to find Jesus. This is “because Jesus is truly in His Word, in His Gospel.” One ought to receive the Word “as one receives Christ: that is, with an open heart, with a humble heart, with the spirit of the Beatitudes, because Jesus came in this way, in humility. He came in poverty. He came with the anointing of the Holy Spirit.” “The Word of God is Jesus,” the Pope said, adding that Jesus “is a source of scandal. The Cross of Christ scandalizes.” “This is the strength of the Word of God: Jesus Christ, the Lord. And how must we receive the Word of God? As one receives Christ Jesus. The Church tells us that Jesus is present in Scripture, in His Word.” Jesus is power, the Holy Father said. “He is the Word of God because He is anointed by the Holy Spirit. Also, if we want to listen to and receive the Word of God, we must pray to the Holy Spirit and ask for this anointing of the heart, which is the anointing of the Beatitudes. Such a heart is the heart of the Beatitudes.” Reflecting on the first reading of the day, Pope Francis cited Saint Paul, saying: “But, I did come among you to persuade you with arguments, with words, or to make a good impression…No. I came in a different way, with a different style. I came to manifest the Spirit and His power.” “Because your faith has not been founded upon human wisdom, but upon the power of God. So, the Word of God is something else, something that is not equal to a human word, to a wise word, to a scientific word, to a philosophical word...no: it is something else. It comes in a different way.” This is what happens when Jesus comments on the Scriptures in the Synagogue at Nazareth, Pope Francis said. At first, the people of Nazareth admired him for his words, but then became angry and sought to kill him. “They went from one side to the other,” he continued, “because the Word of God is something different from the human word.” The Pope went on to encourage the faithful to read the word of God daily, even suggesting that they purchase a small pocket-sized Gospel to carry with them. “We would do well today, throughout the day, to ask ourselves: ‘Yet, how do I receive the Word of God?” Do we receive the Word of God because the priest presents it in a way that is interesting, Pope Francis said, or “simply because it is the living Jesus, His Word?” “We would do well (to ask) these two questions,” he said. “The Lord helps us.”
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