The Vatican (Friday, November 18, 2016, Gaudium Press) God is seeking us…Are we allowing Him to visit us? To seek us and give us love and happiness? According to Vatican Radio, during his morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta today, Pope Francis called on those present to ask themselves these questions.
The Holy Father drew his inspiration from today’s readings about the episode proclaimed from the Gospel according to St. Mark, in which Our Lord wept for the sins of Jerusalem.
The Jesuit Pontiff reflected on the great contrast between God’s unceasing love for us and His people, and our faithlessness. Francis reminded those gathered that what really pains the Lord’s heart is that despite how much He loves us, looks for us and desires our happiness, we do not acknowledge Him.
“Jesus saw in that moment [when, shortly before His passion, He wept over Jerusalem’s sinfulness] what awaited him as the Son – and He wept … ‘because they did not recognize the time of their visitation,” Francis reflected, noting, “This drama has not only happened in history and ended with Jesus. It is the drama of every day. It is even my drama.”
Can we really say…
Can any of us really say, ‘I know how to recognize the hour in which I have been visited? Does God visit me?'”
The Pope went on to highlight the way that the Liturgy of two days ago – Tuesday – offered occasions to reflect on three moments of God’s visitation: correction, entering into dialogue with us, and “inviting himself into our home.”
Pope Francis then asked the faithful to make an examination of conscience, to ask whether each one of us listens to the words of Jesus when He knocks on our door and says, “Amend your life!”
Everyone in fact runs a risk.
“Each of us,” Francis warned, “can fall into the same sin of the people of Israel, the same sin of Jerusalem, not recognizing the time in which we have been visited – and every day the Lord visits us, every day He is knocking at our door – but we must learn to recognize this, that we not end up in that so painful a situation: ‘The more I loved them, as I called them, the more they fled from me’.
‘But I am sure of things. I go to Mass, I’m sure …’ Francis said, calling on them to ask themselves: “Do you make a daily examination of conscience on this? Did the Lord visit me today? Have I heard some call, some inspiration to follow Him more closely, to do a work of charity, to pray a little more? I do not know, so many things to which the Lord invites us every day to meet with us.”
Given this, the Pope stressed, it is central therefore to recognize when we are “visited” by Jesus, and open ourselves to His love.
“Jesus wept not only for Jerusalem, but for all of us. He gives His life, that we might recognize his visitation. St. Augustine said a word, a very strong sentence: ‘I am afraid of God, of Jesus, when He passes!’
Is He visiting you….
“But why are you afraid? ‘I’m afraid I will not recognize it!’ If you’re not careful with your heart, you’ll never know if Jesus is visiting you or not.”
Pope Francis concluded, praying, “May the Lord give all of us the grace to recognize the times we have been visited, we are visited and shall be visited, so that we open the door to Jesus and so ensure that our heart is more enlarged by love, and that we might therefore serve the Lord Jesus in love.”