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Pope in Santa Marta: We are free if we live with Jesus

In his homily at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis recommended listening to the Word of God to be part of God's family, thus becoming authentically free.

POPE FRANCIS

“It means entering into the home of Jesus, to enter into that atmosphere, to live in that atmosphere there in the home of Jesus. To live there, to contemplate, to be free. Because the children are free, those who reside in the house of the Lord are free, those who have a familiar relationship with Him are free.”

Finally, the pope invited Christians to look at saints like St. Teresa of Avila, who said even when in the kitchen God is among the pots and the pans.

EXCERPTS FROM PAPAL HOMILY

“Those who hear the Word of God and act on it: this is the concept of the family for Jesus, a concept of family that is “wider than that of the world.” That was the focus of Pope Francis’ homily at the morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta. In the Gospel reading, Jesus says that it is precisely those who come to Him, and listen to His preaching, who are His “mother,” and His “brothers”: His family. What does this word – familiarity – which the spiritual fathers of the Church have used so often, and have taught us, actually mean?

It means entering into the home of Jesus, to enter into that atmosphere, to live in that atmosphere that is in the home of Jesus. To live there, to contemplate, to be free. Because the children are free, those who reside in the house of the Lord are free, those who have a familiar relationship with Him are free. Others, to use a word from the Bible, are the children of the ‘slave woman.’ We might say that they are Christians, but they don’t dare to draw near to Him, they don’t dare have this familiarity with the Lord. There is always a distance that separates them from the Lord.

But familiarity with Jesus, as the great Saints teach us, also means “standing with Him, looking to Him, hearing His Word, seeking to do it, speaking with Him.” We speak to him in prayer, and we can pray even in common language: “But Lord, what do you think?” “This is familiarity, isn’t it?” “Always! The saints had it. Saint Teresa is beautiful, because she said she found God everywhere, even among the pans in the kitchen.

This is the attitude of familiarity; which is so different from the “goodness” of those Christians who nonetheless keep themselves at a distance from Jesus, saying, 'You stay over there, and I’ll stay here.' So let us take a step forward in this attitude of familiarity with the Lord. A Christian, with all his problems, who gets on the bus, or on the subway, and speaks internally with the Lord – or at least knows that the Lord is watching him – is close to Him: this is familiarity, closeness, feeling oneself a part of the family of Jesus. Let us ask for this grace for all of us, to understand the meaning of familiarity with the Lord. May the Lord grant us this grace.”