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Pope in Santa Marta: The Church suffers for people who do not practice tenderness

2017-05-02

In his homily at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis invited Christians to open their hearts, in order to be witnesses of God's love as Jesus was. 

POPE FRANCIS
"We look at the tenderness of Jesus, the witness of obedience, that great witness, Jesus, who has given life, which makes us look for the tenderness of God, confronting us, our sins, our weaknesses. Let us enter this dialogue and let us call for the grace of the Lord which softens the rigid hearts.”

Pope Francis said that rigid people underestimate the power of God, and added that only "the tenderness of God has ability to take out the heart of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh."

EXTRACT OF THE POPE'S HOMILY
Source: Vatican Radio 

"The Lord softens those with hard hearts, those who condemn all who are outside the law.
This causes suffering in the Church. The closed hearts, the hearts of stone, the hearts which do not want to be open, do not want to hear, the hearts which only know the language of condemnation.

 They know how to condemn, they do not know how to say ‘Explain it to me, why do you say this? Why this? Explain it to me.’ No, they are closed. That’s all they know. They have no need of explanations. 

There was no place in their hearts for the Holy Spirit. In fact, the letter today speaks of how Stephen was filled with the Holy Spirit, he had understood everything, he was a witness to the obedience of the word made flesh, and this was done by the Holy Spirit. He was filled. A closed heart, a hardened heart, a pagan heart doesn’t let the spirit in and feels himself in himself.

Many times we want to move away from the Cross, from the truth, but let us make space to hear Jesus, who makes our hearts burn. The other group, who are closed in the rigidity of the law, who do not want to hear Jesus, are saying worse things than Stephen did.

Today, we look at the tenderness of Jesus, the witness of obedience, that great witness, Jesus, who has given life, which makes us look for the tenderness of God, confronting us, our sins, our weaknesses. Let us enter this dialogue and let us call for the grace of the Lord which softens the rigid hearts of those people who are always closed in the law and condemn all who are outside the law. They do not know that the word became flesh, that the word is a witness to obedience. They do not know the tenderness of God and his ability to take out the heart of stone and replace it with a heart of flesh."