Loading
The field of faith is your own heart, Pope tells WYD pilgrims
Pope Francis addresses young people during the July 27 prayer vigil at Copacabana Beach in Rio. Credit: EWTN.
Pope Francis addresses young people during the July 27 prayer vigil at Copacabana Beach in Rio. Credit: EWTN.

.- Pope Francis told the crowd of pilgrims at World Youth Day's Saturday night prayer vigil that the “field of faith” is found in their own hearts, which Christ wishes to till.

“This, dear young people, means that the real ‘Campus Fidei,’ the field of faith, is your own heart, it is your life,” the Pope told the pilgrims gathered in Rio de Janeiro at the beginning of a vigil July 27. The prayer vigil was held on Copacabana beach rather than “Campus Fidei” in Guaratiba, which was rained out.

He stressed that the deepest meaning of “Campus Fidei” is not a geographical place, like the massive plain east of Rio that was closed to pilgrims after heavy rains. Rather, the field of faith is, most profoundly, the human heart.

“It is your life that Jesus wants to enter with his word, with his presence. Please, let Christ and his word enter your life, blossom and grow.”

Pope Francis examined his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi, as a model of Christian life. The saint was called to rebuild Christ's house, and realized that his call was not merely “a question of repairing a stone building, but about doing his part for the life of the Church.”

Just as St. Francis was called to “make the countenance of Christ shine ever more brightly” in the Church, so “today too,” he told the young people, God is “calling each of you to follow him in his Church and to be missionaries.”

Taking the intended site of his speech as an inspiration, the Pope used the image of a field in three ways: a place for sowing seeds; a training ground; and a construction site.

The human heart is the field where Christ sows the seed of God's word, Pope Francis taught, using the imagery of the parable of the sower in Matthew 13. “What kind of ground are we? What kind of terrain do we want to be?”

At times, he said, “we are like the path,” not allowing the word of God to change our lives because we have “let ourselves be numbed by all the superficial voices competing for our attention” instead of resting in calmness and slowness with the Lord.

We can also fail to bear fruit by faltering in the face of difficulties when “we don't have the courage to swim against the tide;” or at times “negative feelings” choke God's word in us.

Pope Francis encouraged the pilgrims, saying that “today I am sure that the seed is falling on good soil, that you want to be good soil.”

He contrasted “good soil” with a desire to be Christian “part-time,” “superficially,” or “for show.”

“Do not be Christians of the facade, be Christians who are authentic!” he said. “Ask for the Lord to sow his seed in your heart.”

“I am sure that you don’t want to be duped by a false freedom, always at the beck and call of momentary fashions and fads,” he added.

Pope Francis encouraged them to be “aiming high,” resolving to maintain the lofty standards of truth, goodness, and beauty.

The Bishop of Rome's next image considered the field of faith as an athletic training ground, saying that being a disciple of Christ is much like joining a soccer team. Both require discipline and training.

He referred to St. Paul's writing that “athletes deny themselves all sorts of things” in order to “win a crown of leaves that withers,” and then added that “Jesus offers us something bigger than the World Cup,” soccer's international tournament which is to be held next summer in Brazil.

Christ offers “the possibility of a fulfilled and fruitful life; he also offers us a future with him, an endless future, eternal life,” Pope Francis preached.

“But he asks us to train, 'to get in shape,' so that we can face every situation in life undaunted, bearing witness to our faith.”

Such spiritual exercises, the Pope said, include talking with him in prayer, “our daily conversation with God." Do we really seek time in conversation with God, he asked, calling prayer also a "dialogue" with God.

Other spiritual exercises Pope Francis mentioned were the sacraments and loving one another, “yearning to listen, to understand, to forgive, to be accepting and to help others, everybody, with no one excluded or ostracized.”

Finally, Pope Francis spoke of a field as a construction site, saying God constructs the Church of “living stones,” and that “we are never alone” as we journey “on the same path.”

“Jesus is asking us to build up his Church, but not as a little chapel which holds only a small group of persons. He asks us to make his living Church so large that it can hold all of humanity, that it can be a home for everyone!”

Christ says “to me, to you, to each of us,” Pope Francis reflected: “Go and make disciples of all nations.”

“Tonight, let us answer him: Yes, I too want to be a living stone; together we want to build up the Church of Jesus!”

The desire, so characteristic of young people, to build up a more just, fraternal society, Pope Francis said, must begin with each person becoming more just and fraternal.

Dear friends, never forget that you are the field of faith! You are Christ’s athletes! You are called to build a more beautiful Church and a better world.”

Mary is the model for building a beautiful Church and better world, he assured the pilgrims as he concluded.

“All together, let us join Mary in saying to God: let it be done to me as you say. Amen!”

Tags: World Youth Day, Pope Francis, Rio


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Aug
23

Liturgical Calendar

August 23, 2014

Saturday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 23:1-12

Gospel
Date
08/23/14
08/22/14
08/19/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Ezek 43: 1-7AB
First Reading:: Mt 23: 1-12

Saint of the Day

St. Rose of Lima »

Saint
Date
08/23/14
08/19/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 23:1-12

Homily
Date
08/23/14
08/22/14
08/19/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: