Vatican City, Sep 8, 2014 / 08:17 am
Meditating on the feast of Mary's Nativity during his morning Mass, Pope Francis said that God is a creator who has endowed men and women with a free will and has accompanied us throughout history.
The Pope told the congregation Sept. 8 that God "is the God of time, the God of history. He is the God who walks with his children," until the "fullness of time" when his Son is made Man.
The Lord accompanies everyone, the Pope continued during his homily at the Santa Marta residence, "the righteous and the sinners in the journey towards this "definitive encounter" between man and God.
Turning to the book of Genesis, the Pope noted the danger of thinking "that God was a magician" who created things "with a magic wand."
This is not the case, the Pope warned. God created things, allowing them "to go forward with internal, interior laws which he gave to everything, in order that they may develop," and "reach their fullness." The Lord the gives within the universe "autonomy, but not independence."
This is because "God is not a magician; he is creator!" The Pope went on to say that when God created man on the sixth day, he created him with a somewhat different autonomy, but not with independence: "an autonomy which is freedom."
God then told man to "go forward in history," to be responsible for and rule over creation, in order that it might arrive at the "fullness of time."
"And what was the fullness of time? That which he had in his heart: the arrival of his Son." As Saint Paul said, this was because God "had predestined everyone to be conformed to the image of the Son."
This is the "journey of humanity, the journey of man," he said. "God wanted us to be like his Son, and for his Son to be like us."
Referring to the Gospel reading for the feast day which lists the genealogy of Jesus, Pope Francis noted how the list contains saints as well as sinners, "yet history moves forward because God wanted men to be free."
Although man used his freedom for evil, leading to his expulsion from Paradise, God "made a promise, and man left Paradise with hope. A sinner, but with hope!" Their journey, Pope Francis said, "is not made alone: God walks with them."
The Holy Father noted how the Gospel reading concludes in a "tiny thing, a small town," with Joseph and Mary. "The God of the great story," he said, "is also in the small story, there, because he desires to walk with everyone.
Citing Saint Thomas, he added: "Do not fear the big things, but also have regard for the little, this is Divine." God is in the "big things," but also in that which is little.
Speaking on God's patience throughout every generation, Pope Francis said that "God is patient" with all those who have "lived their story of grace and sin."
"He walks with us, because he wants all of us" to be "conformed to the image of his Son." From the moment he gave us freedom at the time of our creation until today, he "continues to walk" with us.
And so, the Pope continued, "we arrive at Mary." Today, "we are in the antechamber of this story: the birth of the Madonna." He prayed that the Lord may grant us "unity to walk together, and peace in our heart."
"Today, we can look to the Madonna, small, holy, without sin, pure, predestined to become the Mother of God."
We can also look to the history over the past centuries, the Pope continued, asking ourselves: "How do I walk in my story? Do I allow God to walk with me or do I want to walk on my own? Do I let him caress me, help me, forgive me, carry me forward" toward an "encounter with Jesus Christ?"
This encounter with the Lord, he said, is the destination of our journey. "We would do well today to ask ourselves this question: 'Do I allow God to have patience with me?'"
Pope Francis concluded his reflection, saying that, as we consider this great history, as well as this small town, "we can praise the Lord, and humbly ask him to grant us peace, that peace of the heart that only he can give, which he only gives us when we allow him to walk with us."