In his homily on Tuesday, Pope Francis said that no matter how much we study, we will never know anything about God unless we speak to him humbly like children. “Many may know science (and) theology well, so many! But if they do not do this theology on their knees, humbly, like children, they will not understand anything,” the Pope told those present in the Vatican’s Saint Martha guesthouse for his Dec. 2 daily Mass. Although studying “will tell them many things, they will not understand anything,” he said. Pope Francis centered his reflections on the day’s Gospel, taken from Luke Chapter 10, in which Jesus prays to the Father, praising him for hiding the mysteries of faith from the wise and instead revealing them to the humble and childlike. Jesus “makes us know the Father, introduces us to this inner life that He has,” reveals him to us and gives us the grace to understand him, the Pope said, explaining that only those who are poor in spirit will be able to receive God’s revelation. “Only those whose hearts are like the young are capable of receiving this revelation; the humble of heart, the meek, who feel the need to pray, to open up to God, who feel poor — only he who goes forward with the first Beatitude: the poor in spirit.” Poverty is a special gift which opens the door to the mystery of God, he continued, adding that it is a gift that can sometimes be lacking in those who have dedicated themselves to a life of study. While those who study theology, philosophy and the sciences might know those topics well, they will never truly understand the mystery of God without becoming humble in prayer, the Roman Pontiff observed. “Only with this poverty is one capable of receiving the revelation that the Father gives through Jesus,” he noted. In reference to the day’s first reading from Isaiah in which the prophet says that “on that day a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse,” the Bishop of Rome said that Jesus is that humble and mild bud who came to bring salvation to the meek, poor, sick and oppressed. The mystery of Jesus is that of humbling oneself, he continued, adding that it is a mystery which brings salvation to the poor and comfort to those afflicted by various diseases, sins and difficult situations. It is not possible to find Jesus outside of this context, the Pope explained, praying that the Lord would use the Advent season to bring each of us closer to his mystery and help us to do what he wants of us. And what the Lord asks, he said, is for all to practice “the way of humility, the way of meekness, the way of poverty, the road where we feel sin, so that he can come to save us, to free us. May the Lord give us this grace.”
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