Vatican City, Feb 10, 2015 / 13:23 pm
In his homily Tuesday, Pope Francis said that Christians must have a certain “restlessness” if they want to know God, who is not found by staring at a computer, but rather by going outside of oneself.
“Sedentary Christians, lethargic Christians will not know the face of God: They do not know Him,” the Pope told attendees of his Feb. 10 daily Mass, which took place in the chapel of the Vatican’s Saint Martha guesthouse.
“You need a certain restlessness to set out on this path, the same restlessness that God placed in each of our hearts and that brings us forward in search of Him.”
Pope Francis launched his reflections by turning to the day’s first reading from Genesis, which recounts God’s creation of Adam and Eve, whom he made in his image and likeness.
The Pope spoke of the right and wrong paths that Christians can take when searching for the origins of their own identity. When looking, it is important to note that the image of God cannot be found “on a computer, or in encyclopedias,” he said.
Rather, the only way to find the image of God and understand one’s own identity is to “set out on a journey,” Francis said.
Of course beginning this journey and allowing God to test us will always involve risks, he said, but pointed out that this is what all the major biblical figures, such as Elijah, Jeremiah and Job, did by allowing themselves to face difficulties and feel defeated.
The Pope contrasted the witness of these biblical figures with those in the Gospel who are stationary and falsify their search for God.
The Pharisees, who confront Jesus and ask why his disciples eat without performing the normal purification rituals, “are afraid to set out on the path (in search of their identity),” he said.
Instead of searching for God, the Pharisees are content “with a caricature of God. It is a fake ID. These lethargic people have silenced the restlessness of their heart, they depict God with commandments and forget God.”
By telling Jesus’ disciples that they are neglecting God’s law and are therefore following the tradition of man, the Pharisees themselves turn away from God and when they are insecure, “they invent or make up another commandment,” Pope Francis said.
He then turned to the day’s liturgy, saying that the day’s readings provide two “identity cards” that every Christian has.
The first is a card that tells us to go out in search of God, and that by doing so, “you will discover your identity, because you are the image of God.”
“Get up and seek God,” he said, noting that the second identity card the readings provide is that of fulfilling the commandments, because they show us the face of God.
The Pope concluded his homily by praying that the Lord give all “the grace of courage to always set out on the path, to seek the Lord's face, the face that one day we will see, but which we must seek here on Earth.”