.- Pope Francis dedicated his homily at Mass on Tuesday to the theme of obeying God’s will, saying a Christian should have a heart like Mary, who was open and obedient to all that God asked of her.
“Do I pray that the Lord gives me the desire to do his will, or do I look for compromises because I’m afraid of God’s will?” the Pope asked the attendees of his Jan. 27 Mass, held in the chapel of the Vatican’s Saint Martha guesthouse.
The Roman Pontiff encouraged those present to pray in order “to know God’s will for me and my life, concerning a decision that I must take; the way in which we handle things … there are so many things.”
First, he said, there is the need to pray to know God’s will, then to pray for the desire to do it, and finally when we have these things, we pray “for the third time, to follow it. To carry out that will, which is not my own, it is his will. And all this is not easy.”
Pope Francis centered his homily on the day’s first reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Hebrews, in which the apostle affirms that rather than seeking burnt offerings and sacrifices, God desires an obedient heart.
Adam and Eve’s act of disobedience to God in the Garden of Eden “brought evil to the whole of humanity,” the Pope noted, saying their primary sin was that of not doing God’s will.
There is no other path to heaven than obedience, he said, explaining that “it begins with Jesus in Heaven, in his desire to obey the Father. But here on earth it begins with Our Lady.”
When Mary told the Angel Gabriel, “Let it be done to me according to your word,” she allowed God’s will to be carried out through her, and with her ‘Yes’ to God “our Lord began his journey amongst us.”
However, following God’s will is “not easy,” the Roman Pontiff observed, noting how even Christ faced temptations in the desert before beginning his public ministry, as well as in the Garden of Olives before his passion and death.
If it was not easy for Christ, then it will not be easy for us either, he said, which is why it is so important to pray for knowledge of God’s will, to have the desire to do it, and then pray to carry it out.
Pope Francis then turned to the day’s Gospel reading from Mark, in which Christ, while seated with a crowd of people, is told that his mother and relatives had arrived.
When approached and informed of their presence, Christ indicated that the people he was sitting with were his relatives, saying, “whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”
The Lord grants this opportunity of obedience to each individual, the Roman Pontiff said, so that everyone can be a part of that group who crowded around Christ, and of whom he said “here is my mother and my brothers and my sisters.”
Doing God’s will, he concluded, “makes us become part of Jesus’ family; it makes us his mother, father, sister, brother.”