Vatican City, Jul 8, 2018 / 03:24 am
Pope Francis said Sunday that God always surprises people with the way he works, and because of this, believers should be open to the Lord's way of thinking and acting, rather than expecting him to conform to their aspirations.
“Today the Lord invites us to assume an attitude of humble listening and docile waiting, because the grace of God often presents itself to us in surprising ways, which don't line up with our expectations,” the pope said July 8.
He noted how certain “prejudices” can be nurtured in Christians which prevent them from accepting the reality of how God works, however, “the Lord does not conform to prejudices. We have to force ourselves to open the mind and heart to welcome the divine reality that comes to meet us.”
Pope Francis spoke to pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square for his Sunday Angelus address, which focused on the day's Gospel reading from Mark. In the passage, Jesus returned to his native land to do ministry, but was unable to perform the same miraculous works he had done in other places since people knew him and were skeptical of his preaching and ministry.
In his speech, Francis said the people were “scandalized” by what Jesus was doing, since they recognized him as one of them.
Asking how it is possible for Jesus' fellow citizens to go from marvel to disbelief, the pope said this is because they made a comparison between the “humble origins” of Jesus and his current abilities to preach and perform miracles.
“He is a carpenter, he did not study, yet he preaches better than the scribes and performs miracles. And instead of opening themselves to the reality, [the people] are scandalized,” he said, noting that for the inhabitants of Nazareth, “God is too great to lower himself to speak through such a simple man!”
This, he said, is “the scandal of the incarnation: the shocking event of a God made flesh, who thinks with a human mind, works and acts with human hands, loves with a human heart; a God who struggles, eats and sleeps as one of us.”