Vatican City, Jan 10, 2014 / 05:06 am
During his daily Mass Pope Francis spoke on the virtue of faith, stating that all things are possible with this virtue as long as we both confess our Faith, and entrust ourselves to God.
"The strength of faith has overcome the world!" the Pope exclaimed during his Jan. 9 homily, "Our faith can do everything! It is victory!"
Pope Francis concentrated his homily, given to those present in the chapel of the Vatican's Santa Marta guesthouse, on the day's first reading taken from the First Letter of St. John in which the apostle describes how the true victor is the Christian who is faithful.
"Faith makes all things possible," but we must place our trust in God, stated the Pope, explaining that authentic faith must be not be something partial, but complete, and is expressed by abiding in God, who is love.
"Whoever abides in God, whoever is begotten by God, whoever abides in love, has victory over the world," noted the Pontiff, "and this victory is our faith – on our part, it is the faith."
"On God's part, (it is) the Holy Spirit who makes this (abiding, this victory) possible through faith…it is powerful!"
Acknowledging that often "the Church is full of defeated Christians who do not believe in this, that faith is the victory," Pope Francis reflected that it would be "beautiful" to repeat to ourselves the power of faith, "because if you do not live this faith, there is defeat, the world wins, the prince of this world."
Recalling the praise which Jesus gave regarding the faith of the hemorrhagic woman, the Canaanite woman, and the man who was blind from birth in the Gospels, the Pope highlighted how even faith as small as a mustard seed can move mountains.
"This faith," observed the Pontiff "affirms and requires of us two attitudes: confessing and trusting."
"Faith," he continued, "means confessing God – the God who revealed Himself to us, from the time of our fathers down to the present: the God of history."
Noting that this is something we recite daily when professing the Creed, the Pope distinguished that "it is one thing to recite the Creed heartily, and another (merely) to parrot it, no?" adding that "I believe, I believe in God, I believe in Jesus Christ, I believe – but do I believe what I am saying?"
"Is this a true confession of faith or is it something I say somehow by rite, because it is (the thing to say)? Do I believe only halfway?"
"Confess the Faith" he urged, "all of it, not part of it! Safeguard this faith, as it came to us, by way of tradition: the whole Faith!"
A sign that helps us to know whether or not we are confessing the faith well, explained the Pontiff, is that "he who confesses the faith well – the whole Faith – has the capacity to worship God."
Turning to the importance of placing out trust in the Lord, the Pope emphasized that "The man or woman who has faith relies on God: entrusts himself or herself to Him!" adding that "Trusting (in God) is what leads us to hope."
"Just as the confession of faith leads us to the worship and praise of God, so trust in God leads us to an attitude of hope."
Drawing attention to the fact that many Christians have "a hope too watered down, not strong: a faint hope," the Pontiff explained that this is because "they do not have the strength and the courage to trust in the Lord."
"But if we Christians believe in confessing the faith, and safeguarding it, taking custody of the faith, and, entrusting ourselves to God, to the Lord," he concluded, "we shall be Christian victors."
"And this is the victory that has overcome the world: our faith."