A hat tip to fellow Catholic Blogger Kevin for pointing out the Pope's first homily today. The full text of the 1-page long homily is here. Let me just say, if Pope Francis is setting the tone of his pontificate with this homily, I'm very excited. Consider these key excerpts:
- We can walk as much we want, we can build many things, but if we do not confess Jesus Christ, nothing will avail. We will become a pitiful NGO, but not the Church, the Bride of Christ.
- When one does not profess Jesus Christ – I recall the phrase of Leon Bloy – “Whoever does not pray to God, prays to the devil.” When one does not profess Jesus Christ, one professes the worldliness of the devil.
- ...in walking, in building, in professing, there are sometimes shake-ups – there are movements that are not part of the path: there are movements that pull us back.
- When we walk without the Cross, when we build without the Cross, and when we profess Christ without the Cross, we are not disciples of the Lord. We are worldly, we are bishops, priests, cardinals, Popes, but not disciples of the Lord.
When is the last time you heard a homily this straightforward and potent? Maybe JPII and Benedict and our own local bishops have talked like this, but I don't recall such simplicity and hard-hitting truths conveyed in a no-nonsense homily in a long time. In this homily, he completely demolishes the phony "Social Justice" (Liberation Theology) movement, saying that good works without Jesus are a "pitiful" secular help organization. He says those not praying to God and Jesus are deceived and (effectively) praying to Satan and are worldly, completely crushing false ecumenism. And most spectacularly, he says that all the bishops and cardinals surrounding him are "not disciples of the Lord" whomever of them are not professing Jesus in their work. Could his reference to "shake ups" be a veiled indication he is going to clean house?
Maybe I'm getting my hopes too high for what I'm expecting in his homilies and example, but more of this would be just the thing we're lacking in the Church today!