Skip to comments.Pope Francis (to confirmands): Remain steadfast in the journey of faith
Posted on 04/28/2013 5:28:07 AM PDT by NYer
(Vatican Radio) It was truly a day to remember for 44 people who had come to St Peters Square to be confirmed by the Pope. The special Mass on Sunday was organized as part of the Year of Faith and those who received the Sacrament of Confirmation had come from all over the world to be in the Square.
During his homily Pope Francis offered the thousands of people gathered and in particular those being confirmed three short reflections.
The Holy Father began by recalling the second reading in Sundays liturgy which describes the vision of St John.
Pope Francis explained that this Saints vision of new heavens and a new earth, and then the Holy City coming down from God, reminds us that all of us are journeying towards the heavenly Jerusalem, the happy day when we will see the Lords face, and be with him forever, in his love.
The Popes second reflection again focused on the liturgy, that being, the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles.
Quoting from Paul and Barnabas who say that we must undergo many trials if we are to enter the kingdom of God, the Holy Father noted, The journey of the Church, and our own personal journeys as Christians, are not always easy; they meet with difficulties and trials. But he added, that these obstacles are part of the path that leads to Gods glory, just as they were for Jesus, who was glorified on the cross; we will always encounter them in life!, he said.
Turning to his final point Pope Francis invited the confirmands, and all those present in St Peters Square to remain steadfast in the journey of faith, with firm hope in the Lord. This is the secret of our journey!, he added. He gives us the courage to swim against the tide.
Following the Homily the 44 people being confirmed on Sunday, ranging in age from 11 to 55 who had come from Italy, Romania, Ireland and as far away as the United States and the Cape Verde Islands, made their way to the Pope, where he laid his hands on the head of each person, and anointed their foreheads with holy chrism in the form of a cross.Before the conclusion on this celebration the Holy Father recited the Regina Coeli and he entrusted those newly confirmed to the protection of Mary. He said that the Madonna would help them to be attentive to what the Lord asks of them and to live and walk always according to the Holy Spirit.
(Vatican Radio) Below is an English language translation of the Pope's Homily at Holy Mass in St Peter's Square with the Rite of Confirmation.
Dear Brothers and Sisters, Dear Confirmands,
I would like to offer three short and simple thoughts for your reflection.
1. In the second reading, we listened to the beautiful vision of Saint John: new heavens and a new earth, and then the Holy City coming down from God. All is new, changed into good, beauty and truth; there are no more tears or mourning This is the work of the Holy Spirit: he brings us the new things of God. He comes to us and makes all things new; he changes us. And Saint Johns vision reminds us that all of us are journeying towards the heavenly Jerusalem, the ultimate newness which awaits us and all reality, the happy day when we will see the Lords face, and be with him for ever, in his love.
You see, the new things of God are not like the novelties of this world, all of which are temporary; they come and go, and we keep looking for more. The new things which God gives to our lives are lasting, not only in the future, when we will be with him, but today as well. God is even now making all things new; the Holy Spirit is truly transforming us, and through us he also wants to transform the world in which we live. Let us open the doors to him, let ourselves be guided by him, and allow Gods constant help to make us new men and women, inspired by the love of God which the Holy Spirit bestows on us! How beautiful it would be if each of you, every evening, could say: Today at school, at home, at work, guided by God, I showed a sign of love towards one of my friends, my parents, an older person!
2. A second thought. In the first reading Paul and Barnabas say that we must undergo many trials if we are to enter the kingdom of God (Acts 14:22). The journey of the Church, and our own personal journeys as Christians, are not always easy; they meet with difficulties and trials. To follow the Lord, to let his Spirit transform the shadowy parts of our lives, our ungodly ways of acting, and cleanse us of our sins, is to set out on a path with many obstacles, both in the world around us, which often fails to understand us, but also within us, in our own hearts. But difficulties and trials are part of the path that leads to Gods glory, just as they were for Jesus, who was glorified on the cross; we will always encounter them in life!
3. And here I come to my last point. It is an invitation which I make to you, young confirmands, and to all present. Remain steadfast in the journey of faith, with firm hope in the Lord. This is the secret of our journey! He gives us the courage to swim against the tide. There are no difficulties, trials or misunderstandings to fear, provided we remain united to God as branches to the vine, provided we do not lose our friendship with him, provided we make ever more room for him in our lives. This is especially so whenever we feel poor, weak and sinful, because God grants strength to our weakness, riches to our poverty, conversion to our sinfulness. Let us trust in Gods work! With him we can do great things; he will give us the joy of being his disciples, his witnesses.
The new things of God, the trials of life, remaining steadfast in the Lord. Dear friends, let us open wide the door of our lives to the new things of God which the Holy Spirit gives us. May he transform us, confirm us in our trials, strengthen our union with the Lord, our steadfastness in him: this will be a true joy! Amen.
Sunday blessings, ping!
We will do nothing to fix the absolute corruption which has destroyed my church.
Would you really expect him to share his thoughts and strategy on the subject of Vatican corruption with a bunch of high school students getting confirmed?
Would you really expect him to stop doing sacraments until the mess is cleaned up?
What was it you were looking for him to do in this particular setting?
What’s going on in your mind here?
Are you a Catholic who is no longer attending church?
A non-Catholic who hates the Catholic Church?
Hopefully, the confirmands will soon discover that the Catholic Church is the ONLY church that is standing against abortion, euthanasia, same-sex marriage, contraception, embryonic stem cell research.
The list can continue.