2013-04-25 Vatican Radio(Vatican Radio) In his homily for Mass Thursday morning at the Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis focused on how Christians should proclaim the Good News as mandated by Jesus and recounted in the Gospel of Mark read during the Liturgy of the Word. Emer M cCarthy reports:
Celebrating the Feast of St. Mark the Evangelist, the Pope said in sharing the Gospel, Christians should have courage to do great things, but at the same time, the humility to appreciate the little things.
Present for the liturgy Thursday morning were members of the Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, accompanied by the Secretary General Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, and a group of police from the Vatican Gendarmerie.
Pope Francis' homily focused on the passage from the Gospel of St. Mark which describes the Ascension of the Lord Jesus. Before ascending into heaven He sends the apostles to preach the Gospel "to the end of the world", not only in Jerusalem or in Galilee.
Go “all over the world. The horizon ... great horizon... And as you can see, this is the mission of the Church. The Church continues to preach this to everyone, all over the world. But she does not go forth alone: she goes forth with Jesus. So they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord acted with them'. The Lord works with all those who preach the Gospel. This is the magnanimity that Christians should have. A pusillanimous Christian is incomprehensible: this magnanimity is part of the Christian vocation: always more and more, more and more, more and more, always onwards!"
"The First Letter of St. Peter - the Pope said - defines the style of Christian preaching as one of humility:
"The style of evangelical preaching should have this attitude: humility, service, charity, brotherly love. 'But ... Lord, we must conquer the world!'. That word, conquer, doesn’t work. We must preach in the world. The Christian must not be like soldiers who when they win the battle make a clean sweep of everything”.
The Christian - continued the Pope - "proclaims the Gospel with his witness, rather than with words." And with a dual disposition, as St. Thomas Aquinas says: a great soul that is not afraid of great things, that moves forward towards infinite horizons, and the humility to take into account the small things. "This is divine – observed the Pope – it is like a tension between the great and the small" and "Christian missionary activity" proceeds "along this path."
The Gospel of St. Mark - said the Pope - ends with "a beautiful phrase" where it says that Jesus was working with the disciples, confirming "the word with accompanying signs”.
"When we go forth with this magnanimity and humility, when we are not scared by the great things, by the horizon, but also take on board the little things - humility, daily charity - the Lord confirms the Word. And we move forward. The triumph of the Church is the Resurrection of Jesus. But there is first the Cross. Today we ask the Lord to become missionaries in the Church, apostles in the Church but in this spirit: a great magnanimity and also a great humility. So be it”.