2013-04-22 Vatican Radio
(Vatican Radio) The Gospel of the Good Shepherd in which Jesus describes Himself as "the gate for the sheep" was the focus of Pope Francis’ homily Monday morning. The Mass took place in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta with staff and journalists from the Vatican Press Office and Vatican Radio transmission center in Santa Maria di Galeria. Emer McCarthy reports:
In Monday’s Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples that whoever does not enter the sheepfold through the gate, is not a shepherd, but a thief and a robber. In short, said Pope Francis, someone who seeks to profit for themselves, who only wants to climb the social ladder. The only gate to the Kingdom of God, to the Church - the Pope said - is Jesus Himself:
"These social climbers exist even in the Christian communities, no? those people who are looking for their own... and consciously or unconsciously pretend to enter but are thieves and robbers. Why? Why steal the glory from Jesus? They want glory for themselves and this is what [Jesus] said to the Pharisees: You seek for each other's approval...'. That’s something of a ‘commercial’ religion, don’t you think? I give glory to you and you give glory to me. But these people did not enter through the true gate. The [true] gate is Jesus and those who do not enter by this gate are mistaken. How do I know that Jesus is the true gate? How do I know that this gate is Jesus’s gate? It’s enough to take the Beatitudes and do what the Beatitudes say. Be humble, poor, gentle, just ... ".
Pope Francis continued, noting that Jesus is not only the gate, he is also the way, the path to follow on our journey. He said there are many paths that we can follow, some perhaps more advantageous than others in getting ahead, but they are “misleading, they are not real: they are false. The only path is Jesus ":
"Some of you may say: 'Father, you're a fundamentalist!'. No, simply put, this is what Jesus said : 'I am the gate', 'I am the path’ [He] gives life to us. Simple. It is a beautiful gate, a gate of love, it is a gate that does not deceive, it is not false. It always tells the truth. But with tenderness and love. However, we still have […] the source of original sin within us, is not it so? We still desire to possess the key to interpreting everything, the key and the power to find our own path, whatever it is, to find our own gate, whatever it is. "
"Sometimes - the Pope said - we are tempted to be too much our own bosses and not humble children and servants of the Lord":
"And this is the temptation to look for other gates or other windows to enter the Kingdom of God. We can only enter by the gate whose name is Jesus. We can only enter by that gate which leads to a path and that path is called Jesus and brings to a life whose name is Jesus. All those who do something else - says the Lord – who try to enter through the window, are 'thieves and robbers'. He is simple, the Lord. His words are not complex: He is simple”.
The Pope concluded by inviting all those present to ask for "the grace to always knock on that gate":
"Sometimes it's closed: we are sad, we feel desolation, we have problems with knocking, with knocking at that gate. Do not go looking for other gates that seem easier, more comfortable, more at hand. Always the same one: Jesus. Jesus never disappoints, Jesus does not deceive, Jesus is not a thief, not a robber. He gave his life for me: each of us must say this: 'And you who gave your life for me, please, open, that I may enter.' "