Pope Francis: Christian comfort is in Jesus not in chatter

September 1, 2015

Santa Marta

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Pope Francis said Christians should comfort each other through good works and kind words and not with useless chatter. He was speaking on Tuesday, September 1, during his homily at his first morning Mass at the Santa Marta residence since the summer break. 

Taking his inspiration from the St Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians about the need for a strong faith and hope in a final meeting with Christ, the Pope noted that the apostle wrote that the day of the Lord can arrive without warning “like a thief” but Jesus is coming to bring salvation to those who believe in Him. My advice, he said, is to comfort each other and help each other and this comfort will give you hope.

“This is my advice, ‘comfort each other.’ Speak about this: but I’m asking you: do we speak about this, that the Lord will come and will we meet Him? Or do we speak about so many things, including theology, things about the Church, priests, religious sisters, monsignors, all this?  And is this hope our comfort? ‘Comfort each other,’ comfort those in the community. In our community, in our parishes, are we speaking about this that we’re waiting for the Lord who comes?  Or are we instead chattering about this and that to help pass the time and not get too bored?”

Pope Francis explained how in the responsorial psalm we repeat the words: ‘I am sure I will see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living’ but then asked the question: are you certain you will see the Lord?  He advised us to follow the example of the prophet Job who despite his many misadventures maintained his belief in the existence of God and that he would see him with his own eyes.  

“It’s true, He will come to judge and when we go to the Sistine (Chapel) we see that beautiful scene of the Last Judgement.  But we must also believe that He will come to find me because I see Him with my eyes, I embrace Him and am always with Him.  This is the hope that the Apostle Paul tells us to explain to others through our life, to give witness to hope.  This is the true comfort, this is the true certainty: “I am sure I will see the Lord’s kindness.””

Just as St Paul encouraged the early Christians, the Pope reiterated the saint’s advice to those in the Church today. “Comfort each other with good works and help each other. In this way, we can go ahead.”

“Let us ask the Lord for this grace: that seed of hope that he has planted in our hearts so it germinates and grows until our final meeting with Him. “I am certain that I will see the Lord.” “I am certain that our Lord lives.” “I am certain that our Lord will come to find me”: This should be the horizon of our life.  Let us ask the Lord for this grace and let us comfort each other with good works and kind words, (let’s go) along this road.”

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