Pope at Santa Marta: God's faithfulness always precedes us

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During his homily at Mass at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis reflected on God's faithfulness. He explained that “our faithfulness is nothing more than a response to the faithfulness of God,” and that “God is faithful to His word.”

Faithfulness is that father who is capable of going up to the terrace many times to see if his son is coming back, and who doesn't get tired of doing this. He waits for him to celebrate. God's faithfulness is a feast. It is joy. It is a joy that makes us do what this paralyzed man did. He went into the temple, walking, jumping, praising God.

He also said “God's faithfulness always precedes us,” and that “our faithfulness is always the response to that faithfulness which precedes us.”


(Source: Vatican Homily)

Pope Francis recalled his reflection the day before on St Mary Magdalene as the “icon of fidelity” in the Gospel, Pope Francis on Wednesday asked what it means for us to be faithful to God. Our fidelity to God, he said, “is nothing more than a response to God’s fidelity.”

God is “faithful to his word… faithful to his promise.” He “walks with his people, carrying out His promise close to his people.” We constantly experience God as Saviour, the pope said, because “He is faithful to His promise.”

In the first reading, a man crippled from birth was healed in the name of Jesus. Pope Francis said this is an example of God’s fidelity, “who is capable of redoing things, of re-creating… this is His faithfulness to us: a re-creation that is more wonderful than creation.”

Like a good shepherd, God never tires of seeking the sheep that is lost, the Pope said. He does so “out of love, out of fidelity;” and not for pay, but freely, gratuitously. God is like a father who never grows tired of waiting for his son to return home – and who throws a party when he does. “God’s faithfulness is a feast, a free feast, a feast for all of us.”

It is that divine faithfulness that led our “generous God” to seek after Peter, who had denied Jesus during His Passion. Pope Francis explained that although we do not know what the Lord said to Peter when He appeared to him for the first time after the Resurrection, “We know that it was God’s faithfulness that sought Peter out.”

As with Peter, God’s faithfulness always precedes our own, “and our faithfulness is always a response to that faithfulness that precedes us.”

For us, Pope Francis said in conclusion, “to be faithful is to praise this fidelity, to be faithful to [God’s] fidelity. It is a response to this fidelity.”

Daniel Díaz Vizzi

Translation: Claudia Torres

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