Loading
Pope warns against a weakened faith that leads to idolatry
Pope Francis greets pilgrims in St. Peter's Square before the Wednesday general audience Dec. 4, 2013. Credit: Kyle Burkhart/CNA.
Pope Francis greets pilgrims in St. Peter's Square before the Wednesday general audience Dec. 4, 2013. Credit: Kyle Burkhart/CNA.
By Elise Harris
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- In his daily homily Pope Francis encouraged all present to pursue God rather than their own passions, noting how the Old Testament figure Solomon “lost his faith” to idolatry despite being wise.

“His heart was weakened, it was weakened and he lost faith. He lost faith. The wisest man in the world has left in order to pursue an indiscreet love, without discretion,” the Pope said Feb. 13.

Addressing those gathered in the Vatican's Saint Martha guesthouse, the pontiff began his homily by recalling the Gospel reading taken from Mark in which a Cananite woman begs Jesus to heal her daughter, who was possessed by a demon.

Highlighting how the days readings make us think in a “twofold” way of both the “idolatry of the living God” and the “the living God of idolatry,” the Pope drew attention to the “courageous” woman who, although she is a pagan, asks Jesus for this favor.

“A mother in front of the health of a child, does everything,” he observed, drawing attention to the harsh way in which Jesus tells her that he came first “to the sheep of Israel” when he says “Let the children be fed first. For it is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.”

This woman “who had certainly not gone to college, she knew how to respond,” noted the Pope, adding that she responded “not with her intelligence, but with her mother's womb, with her love.”

In pleading with Jesus and saying that “even the dogs eat what falls from the table,” she was “not ashamed” of her faith, the pontiff explained, and Jesus gave her “a miracle.”

“She was exposed to the risk of making a bad impression, but she insisted, and from paganism and idolatry she found health for her daughter and for her she found the living God.”

“This is the path of a person of good will, that searches for God and finds him. The Lord blesses,” the Pope emphasized, commenting that “how many people make this journey and the Lord waits!”

However, he observed that “it is the same Holy Spirit that leads us forward to making this journey,” and that “every day in the Church of the Lord there are people that make this journey, silently, to find the Lord, because they let themselves be carried forward by the Holy spirit.”

Reflecting on the opposite attitude, the Pope turned his attention to Soloman, the son of David, in the first reading, who was the “wisest man on Earth” and who had “universal fame,” stating that he was “a believer in God, but what happened?”

Slowly he let his heart be “diverted” from God by women and by his concubines, the pontiff said, noting how “these women weakened” Solomans heart so that it was no longer just, like his father.

“The wisest man in the world has left in order to pursue an indiscreet love, without discretion; he left to pursue his own passions,” the Pope said.

Although some might say “But father, Soloman didn't lose his faith, he believed in God and was able to recite the Bible,” the Pope responded: “Yes, it’s true, but to have faith does not mean to be able to recite the Creed. You can recite the Creed having lost faith.”

Observing how Solomon was just as much of a sinner as his father David, Pope Francis explained that the difference between the two is that Solomon allowed himself to be “corrupted” by vanity, while David “was humble and asked for forgiveness.”

“The evil seed of his passions grew in Solomon's heart and he was brought to idolatry,” the pontiff repeated, calling to mind the “beautiful advice” given in the hymn of the Alleluia “'Welcome the Word with docility' – with docility – 'many the Word that was planted in you bring you to Salvation.'”

Concluding his homily, the Pope encouraged all present to “make this journey with that Canaanite woman, that pagan woman, accepting the Word of God, that was planted in us, and that will bring us to salvation.”

“May the Word of God, powerful, guard us on this path,” he said, “and not permit that we end up in the corruption that leads us to idolatry.”

Tags: Pope Francis, Daily Mass

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

An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
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'
Oct
23

Liturgical Calendar

October 23, 2014

Thursday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 12:49-53

Gospel
Date
10/23/14
10/22/14
10/21/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Eph 3:14-21
Gospel:: Lk 12: 49-53

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
10/23/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 12:49-53

Homily
Date
10/23/14
10/22/14
10/21/14