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Pope’s Morning Homily: Pastors Should Accept the 1st Step, Let God Do the Rest

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Pope’s Morning Homily: Pastors Should Accept the 1st Step, Let God Do the Rest

Pastors should speak the truth, but at the same time welcome people for what they are able to give. This is the first step; the rest we leave to the Lord. That was the message of Pope Francis at daily Mass at the Casa Santa Marta today.

St John the Baptist was at the centre of the Pope”€™s homily.

Many people went out into the desert to find John the Baptist, including the Pharisees and the doctors of the law. The latter, though, went out with a certain detachment, intending not to be baptized by John, but to judge him. In the Gospel of the Day, Jesus asks the crowds what they went out to see in the desert: “€œa reed swayed by the wind? Someone dressed in fine garments?”€ They weren”€™t looking for men dressed in fine vestments, because people like that are found in the palaces of kings “€“ “€œor sometimes of Bishops,”€ the Pope added.

Rather, they went out to see a prophet, one who was “€œmore than a prophet.”€ Jesus said “€œamong those born of women, no one is greater than John.”€ He was “€œthe last of the prophets,”€ the Pope said, because after him came the Messiah. Dwelling on the reason of John”€™s greatness, Pope Francis explained, “€œHe was a man who was faithful to what the Lord had asked of him”€; “€œhe was great because he was faithful. This greatness is seen even in his preaching:

The Pope noted, though, that with the people, the Baptist was understanding: to the publicans “€“ who were known as public sinners because they exploited the people “€“ he said, “€œDo not ask for more than what is just.”€

“€œHe began with small things. Then we”€™ll see. And he baptized them,”€ Francis continued. “€œFirst this step. Then we see.”€ He asked the soldiers, the police, not to threaten or denounce anyone and to be content with their pay. “€œThis means not entering into the world of tangents,”€ Pope Francis explained.

John baptized all these sinners, “€œbut with this minimal step forward, because he knew that with this step, the Lord would do the rest.”€ And they converted. “€œIt is a pastor,”€ the Pope continued, “€œwho understood the situation of the people and helped them to go forward with the Lord.”€

Although John was great, strong, secure in his vocation, “€œhe still had dark moments,”€ he had his doubts,”€ said Francis. In fact, John began to doubt in prison, even though he had baptized Jesus, “€œbecause he was a Saviour that was not as he had imagined him.”€ And so he sent two of his disciples to ask Him if He was the Messiah. And Jesus corrects the vision of John with a clear response. In fact, He tells them to report to John that “€œthe blind see,”€ “€œthe deaf hear,”€ “€œthe dead rise.”€ “€œThe great can afford to doubt, because they are great,”€ the Pope said.

Pope Francis than summarized the main points of his homily: saying the truth and accepting from the people what they are able to give, a first step:


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