Pope Francis presides over the Mass for the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord on February 2, which also marks the World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life.
By Vatican News reporter
In his Wednesday evening homily, Pope Francis was inspired by the feast of the Presentation of the Lord which is celebrated on February 2.
The Pope recalled two elderly people, Simeon and Anna, who are waiting in the Temple for “the fulfillment of the promise that God made to his people: the coming of the Messiah”.
Pope Francis noted that Simeon is moved by the Spirit; “then he see salvation in the Child Jesus and finally he takes it in his arms.
What affects us?
The Pope then considered these three actions looking first at what moves us?
He explained that, like Simeon, the Holy Spirit “allows us to discern the presence and activity of God not in great things, in outward appearances or displays of strength, but in smallness and vulnerability” .
Pope Francis then asked the question; “who moves most often we? Is it the Holy Spirit or the spirit of this world?
On this World Day of Prayer for Consecrated Life, the Pope was joined in St. Peter’s Basilica by members of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and he remarked that “it is a question everyone, consecrated persons in particular, must question.”
He went on to say, “The Spirit prompts us to see God in the smallness and vulnerability of a baby, but sometimes we risk seeing our consecration only in terms of results, goals and success: we looking for influence, visibility, numbers.”
The Spirit, the Pope commented, “on the other hand, does not ask for any of this. He wants us to cultivate daily fidelity and to be attentive to the little things entrusted to us.
Pope Francis stressed the importance of consecrated persons examining their inner motivations and discerning their spiritual movements, “so that the renewal of consecrated life can come, above all, from there.”
What do our eyes see?
The Pope then turned his attention to the second question, What do our eyes see? He noted that God looks at us with a “compassionate gaze” and gives us “new eyes to look at ourselves and our world”. It is a gaze, he says, “which does not stop at appearances, but which can enter into the very cracks of our weaknesses and our failures, in order to discern the presence of God there”.
In off-the-cuff remarks, the pope noted that it would be good for people “to visit our elderly religious brothers and sisters, to look at them, to talk, to ask, to hear what they think. I think it will be a good medicine.
The Lord, Pope Francis stressed, “never fails to give us signs that invite us to cultivate a renewed vision of consecrated life.
“Let us open our eyes: the Spirit invites us in the midst of our crises, our diminishing numbers and our diminishing strengths, to renew our lives and our communities,” he said.
During his homily, the Pope also warned against the temptation “to go back, out of security, out of fear, to preserve the faith, to preserve the founding charism”.
“Neither Simeon nor Anna were rigid,” he said. “They were free and had the joy of feasting.”
Kiss the Lord
Finally, the pope focused on the third question: what do we take in our own arms?
“Sometimes we risk losing our bearings, getting caught up in a thousand different things, obsessing over minor issues, or immersing ourselves in new projects,” but, Pope Francis said, “the heart of everything is Christ, embracing him as Lord of our lives”. .”
The pope warned: “If consecrated men and women lack words that bless God and others, if they lack joy, if their enthusiasm is lacking, if their fraternal life is nothing but drudgery, It’s not anyone or anything else’s fault. It is because our arms no longer embrace Jesus.
He went on to say that when this happens, “our heart falls prey to bitterness, to complaining about things going wrong, to rigidity and inflexibility, to the illusion of our own superiority.
A renewed vision
In conclusion, Pope Francis invited all consecrated persons to “renew our consecration,” asking what “moves” our hearts and actions, what renewed vision we are called to cultivate, and above all, let us take Jesus into our hearts. arm”, just like Simeon and Anna did.