Pope Francis’ Monday morning homily centered on the theme of God’s profound and unique love for each person.
“I like to think that the Lord might have the feelings of a couple who is expecting a child: he waits. He always waits for us in this history, and then accompanies us during history. This is the eternal love of the Lord: eternal, but concrete! It is also a ‘handmade’ love, because he makes history, he goes to prepare the way for each of us,” preached the Pope on Jan. 13 at the Santa Marta guesthouse chapel.
“It’s fitting for God, for the love of God, to prepare the way,” he explained, since God “does not make Christians by spontaneous generation.“ Rather, “he prepares our way, he prepares our life, in time.”
Furthermore, God does not wait to love us until we are perfect. “We think of the great David, a great sinner and a great saint,” suggested the Pontiff. “The Lord knows! When the Lord tells us, ‘with eternal love, I have loved you,’ he refers to this.”
Pope Francis also pointed out that the Apostles were far from perfect. Instead, the Lord prepared them over time to be his followers.
In the gospel passage where Jesus called Simon, Andrew, James, and John, it seems they were “definitively chosen,” noted the Pope.
“Yes, they were chosen! But at this moment they were not definitely faithful!” he exclaimed.
“After being chosen, they made mistakes, they made unchristian suggestions to the Lord; they denied the Lord! Peter, above all - the others more fearfully. They were frightened and they left. They abandoned the Lord.” Yet, “the Lord prepared.”
He went on, “And then, after the resurrection, the Lord had to continue this journey of preparation until Pentecost. And after Pentecost also, some of these - Peter for example, erred, and Paul had to correct him. But the Lord prepared.”
Just as Christ patiently loved his disciples, God’s love for each person is steadfast. “This is the love of God - he loves us from always and without abandon!”
“And when things are not going well, he intervenes in history and sorts out the situation and goes forward with us,” assured the Pope.
God is not afraid of our sinfulness: “But we think of the genealogy of Jesus Christ...in this historical list, there are sinners, both men and women. But why did the Lord do this? He involved himself, straightened the path, regulated things.”
“Through many generations the Lord has thought of us, of each one of us!” Pope Francis emphasized.
When “our rationalism says, ‘But how come the Lord, with all the people he has, thinks of me? But he has prepared the way for me!’” it is “an act of faith” to ask “for this grace to understand the love of God” which is “concrete, eternal, and handmade.”
“The Lord prepares us through time, journeys with us, preparing others. And he is always with us! We ask the grace to understand with the heart this great love,” concluded Pope Francis.