Pope in Santa Marta: to reach Jesus, Christians must admit they are sinners
In his homily at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis spoke about sinners, saying if one desires to be called by Christ, they must first recognize that they fall and are not perfect.
“Many saints have also been persecuted or suspected. We think of St. Joan of Arc, sent to the stake, because they thought she was a witch, and condemned her. A saint! Think of Saint Teresa, suspected of heresy, think of Bl. [Antonio] Rosmini. ‘Mercy I desire, and not sacrifices.’ And the door to meet Jesus is recognizing ourselves as we are: truly. We are sinners. He comes, and we meet Him. It is very beautiful to meet Jesus.”
The pope continued saying that in order to reach salvation, one must realize their soul is in danger and is in need of God's mercy, which is always available.
EXTRACTS OF HOMILY IN ENGLISH
“This is the first condition of salvation: feeling oneself in danger. It is the first condition of healing: feeling sick. Feeling sinful is the first condition of receiving this gaze of mercy. But let us think of the look of Jesus, so beautiful, so good, so merciful. And we, too, when we pray, we feel this look upon us; it is the look of love, the gaze of mercy, the gaze that saves us. Do not be afraid.”
“Always a scandal begins with this phrase: ‘But how come?’' when you hear this sentence, it smells,and scandal follows. They were, in essence, scandalized by the impurity of not following the law. They knew the Doctrine very well, knew how to go on the way of the Kingdom of God, knew better than anyone how things ought to have been done, but had forgotten the first commandment, of love. Then, they were locked in the cage of sacrifices, perhaps thinking, “But let's make a sacrifice to God, let us do all we have to do, so we are saved. In summary, they believed that salvation came from themselves, they felt safe. No, God saves us, Jesus Christ saves us.”
“That ‘how come?’, which we’ve heard so many times from Catholics when they saw works of mercy. How come? Jesus is clear, He is very clear: ‘Go and learn.’ He sent them to learn, right? ‘Go and learn what mercy means. [That’s what] I want, and not sacrifices, for I did not come to call the righteous, but the sinners.’ If you want to be called by Jesus, recognize yourself a sinner.”
“There are so many, many – and always, even in the Church today. They say, ‘No, you cannot, it’s all clear, it’s all, no, no – those are sinners, we have to turn them away.’ Many saints have also been persecuted or suspected. We think of St. Joan of Arc, sent to the stake, because they thought she was a witch, and condemned her. A saint! Think of Saint Teresa, suspected of heresy, think of Bl. [Antonio] Rosmini. ‘Mercy I desire, and not sacrifices.’ And the door to meet Jesus is recognizing ourselves as we are: the truth [about orselves], [that we are] Sinners. And he comes, and we meet. It is very beautiful to meet Jesus.”