Vatican City, Mar 9, 2015 / 19:11 pm
If there's one thing that marks the presence of God, it's humility rather than making a scene, Pope Francis said Monday.
"This is how the Lord acts: He does things simply. He speaks silently to you, to the heart," Francis told attendees of his March 9 daily Mass, held in the chapel of the Vatican's Saint Martha guesthouse.
When it comes to God and his action in the world, it is "the simple things" that mark his presence, the Pope said, adding that the humility of God "is the divine style, never the spectacle."
He pointed to Biblical history as evidence of God's simple style. Even as far back as creation, God chose to form man out of mud rather than use a "magic wand" to create him.
From Moses to David to the baby Jesus in the manger, the Bible teaches us that God's divine way is one of humility, Pope Francis explained.
When God freed his people from slavery, he did it "through the faith and confidence of a man, Moses. When He desired to cause the fall of the powerful city of Jericho, He did so through a prostitute. And for the conversion of the Samaritans, He required the work of another sinner," he said.
The Pope also spoke of David and Goliath, saying that it "seemed crazy" for such a small child to fight against a well-armed giant with just a sling and some stones.
As for the Magi, when they were told that a great king had been born, they went to Bethlehem and "what did they find? A little child, a manger. The simple things, the humility of God…this is the divine style."
Francis drew a parallel between the day's first reading from the Second Book of Kings and the Gospel from Luke, which tells of how the Nazarenes, who at first admired Jesus, exploded "with outrage" when he criticized their lack of faith.
With perhaps a little gossip and hypocrisy involved, those listening to Jesus were happy until he called a few of them out, and then "Fury erupted, and even violence…they drove Him out of the town, and led Him to the brow of the hill…they wanted to throw Him down!"
This attitude, the Pope said, is similar to that of Naaman in the first reading, who was commander of the Syrian army, but also a leper.
Naaman at first rejected Elijah's instruction to wash himself in the Jordan River seven times in order to be healed, because he was expecting a big gesture, the Holy Father said. But eventually, Naaman took the prophet's advice and was cured of his leprosy.
In both cases, the people "wanted a spectacle," Francis said, but "the style of the good God is not to produce a spectacle: God acts in humility, in silence, in the little things."
Even Jesus faced the temptation to create a spectacle while in the desert when the devil tempted him to throw himself off the pinnacle of the temple so that the people would believe in him after seeing a miracle.
Instead, Jesus responded with Scripture and resisted that temptation, because the power of God is "revealed in simplicity, in humility," Pope Francis said, encouraging those present to use Lent as a time to think about all the simple ways God has helped them to move forward.
"Let us remember in our lives the many time we have felt these things: the humility of God is His style; the simplicity of God is His style."
The liturgy and the sacraments also manifest humility rather than "a worldly spectacle," he concluded, and in our personal lives, we can also "consider the many times the Lord has visited us with His grace, and always with this humble style, the style He calls us, too, to have: humility."