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Pope: Mass is an encounter with Jesus, not a 'social event'

2013-10-03

On Thursday morning, Pope Francis celebrated Mass at the Vatican, along with his new advisory council of eight cardinals. During his homily, the Pope talked about the danger of remembering the history of Salvation as something distant and from the past.    

He explained that when this memory is alive, the Mass becomes a celebration and not a mere social event. 

POPE FRANCIS
"When the memory is distant, when we don't have the closeness of memory, it enters into a process of transformation, and the memory becomes a mere recollection.”

The Pope then said that the Sacrifice of Jesus, on the Cross, shouldn't be something one grows accustomed to, since it's this very encounter that gives Christians strength and joy.


EXTRACT OF POPE'S HOMILY
(Source: Vatican News)

"This is important not only in the great moments in history, but also in the moments of our life: we all have the memory of salvation, everyone. I wonder, though: is this memory close to us, or is it a memory a bit far away, spread a little thin, a bit archaic, a little like a museum [piece]… it can get far away [from us]… and when the memory is not close, when we do not experience the closeness of memory, it enters into a process of transformation, and the memory becomes a mere recollection.”

"This joy is our strength. The joy of the nearness of memory. Domesticated memory, on the other hand, which moves away and becomes a mere recollection, does not warm the heart. It gives us neither joy nor strength. This encounter with memory is an event of salvation, it is an encounter with the love of God that has made history with us and saved us. It is a meeting of salvation - and it is so wonderful to be saved, that we need to make feast.”

"When God is near, there is feasting. And sometimes, us cristians, are afraid of that feast: that simple and fraternal feast that is a gift from God's closeness. Life makes us push that vicinity from God away, to keep the reminder of salvation but not a live memory of it. The Church has a memory: the memory of Our Lords Passion. Sometimes we push that memory away and we transform it into a reminder, just a frequent event.”

"Every week we go to church, or rather when someone dies, we go to the funeral … and this memory often times bores us, because it is not near. It is sad, but the Mass is often turned into a social event and we are not close to the memory of the Church, which is the presence of the Lord before us. Imagine this beautiful scene in the Book of Nehemiah: Ezra who carries the Book of Israel’s memory and the people once again grow near to their memory and weep, the heart is warmed, is joyful, it feels that the joy of the Lord is its strength – and the people makes a feast, without fear, simply.”


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