2013-12-02 Vatican Radio
(Vatican Radio) Preparing for Christmas through prayer, charity and exhaltation. With this hope, Pope Francis called on the faithful Monday to open their hearts and allow themselves to encounter the Lord who renews all. Tracey McClure has more…
In his homily at the Santa Marta guesthouse on this, the first Monday of Advent, Pope Francis recalled that as we proceed towards Christmas, we embark on a journey of faith and prayer in preparation for our encounter with the Lord. “Because Christmas,” he said, isn’t just a temporal celebration or the memory of a beautiful (event).”
“Christmas is something more,” he said, “Christmas is an encounter” with the Lord. And as we make our way towards Him, we must go with open heart and faith, even though this is not always easy.
Speaking of today’s reading about the Roman centurion, who with great faith begs the Lord to heal his slave, the Pope said we are like this centurion on a pilgrimage of faith “to encounter the Lord and most of all, to allow ourselves to be encountered by Him.”
We must allow ourselves to be encountered by Him, the Pope repeated, to allow Him to enter us. “It is He who makes all new….Christ renews the heart, the soul , life, hope…”
The Lord does not always say to us what we want to hear, noted the Pope, but: He will tell me what is meant for me “because the Lord does not look at us all together, en masse.” “He looks each one of us in the face , in the eyes.” His is not an abstract love; "it is concrete," the Pope said. The Lord looks at me in a personal way. And "letting ourselves be encountered by God means just this: letting ourselves be loved by God!”