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Pope in Santa Marta: If the Word of God is not announced with prayer, it is a conference

2017-02-14

In his homily at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis explained three characteristics that those who proclaim the Gospel must have. They are courage, humility and frankness.

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"It needs to be proposed with this frankness, with this force, so that the Word penetrates, as Paul says, ‘to the bone.’ The Word of God must be proclaimed with this frankness, with this force… with courage. The person who doesn't have courage – spiritual courage, courage of heart, who is not enamoured of Jesus, and from there comes courage! – No, you will say, yes, something interesting, something moral, something that will do you good, a good philanthropy, but this is not the Word of God.”

Finally, the pope said that the Word of God has to be announced in accompaniment with prayer, because otherwise it would be like giving a conference.  

EXCERPTS FROM THE PAPAL HOMILY
(Radio Vaticano)

"The Word of God cannot be given as a proposal – ‘well, if you like it…’ – or like good philosophical or moral idea – ‘well, you can live this way…’ No! It’s something else. It needs to be proposed with this frankness, with this force, so that the Word penetrates, as Paul says, ‘to the bone.’ The Word of God must be proclaimed with this frankness, with this force… with courage. The person who doesn't have courage – spiritual courage, courage of heart, who is not enamoured of Jesus, and from there comes courage! – No, you will say, yes, something interesting, something moral, something that will do you good, a good philanthropy, but this is not the Word of God. And this is incapable, this word, of forming the people of God. Only the Word of God proclaimed with this frankness, with this courage, is capable of forming the people of God.” 

"The Word of God should be proclaimed with prayer, also. Always. Without prayer, you could have a good conference, good instruction: good, good! But it is not the Word of God. The Word of God can only come from a heart in prayer. Prayer, so that the Lord might accompany this sowing of the Word, so that the Lord might water the seed so that the Word will sprout. The Word of God should be proclaimed with prayer: the prayer of the one who proclaims the Word of God.” 

"The true preacher is the one who knows he is weak, who knows that he cannot defend himself. ‘You are going out like a lamb among wolves’ – ‘But Lord, why would they eat me?’ – ‘You are going! This is the journey.’ And I think it was Chrysostom who has a very profound reflection, when he says: ‘But if you do not go like sheep, but you go like a wolf among wolves, the Lord, will not defend you: you’ll have to fend for yourself.’ When the preacher believes he is too intelligent, or when the one who is responsible for carrying forward the Word of God tries to be clever – ‘Ah, I can get along with these people’ – just so, it will end badly. Or you will bargain away the Word of God: to the powerful, to the proud…” 


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