(Vatican Radio) Christian life is not a spa therapy "to be at peace until Heaven," but it calls us to go out into the world to proclaim that Jesus "became the sinner" to reconcile men with the Father. These were Pope Francis’ words during his homily at Mass Saturday at the Casa Santa Martha.
The Christian life is not staying in a corner to carve a road which takes you into heaven, but it's a dynamic that encourages one to stay "on the road" to proclaim that Christ has reconciled us to God, by becoming sin for us. In his usual profound and direct way, Pope Francis focuses on a passage from the Letter to the Corinthians, from today's liturgy, in which St. Paul very insistent, almost "in a hurry", uses the term "reconciliation"five times.
"What is reconciliation? Taking one from this side, taking another one for that side and uniting them: no, that’s part of it but it's not it ... True reconciliation means that God in Christ took on our sins and He became the sinner for us. When we go to confession, for example, it isn’t that we say our sin and God forgives us. No, not that! We look for Jesus Christ and say: 'This is your sin, and I will sin again'. And Jesus likes that, because it was his mission: to become the sinner for us, to liberate us. "
It is the beauty and the "scandal" of the redemption brought by Jesus and it is also the "mystery, says Pope Francis, from which Paul draws" zeal "that spurs him to" move forward " telling everyone" something so wonderful "the love of a God" who gave up his Son to death for me. " Yet, explains Pope Francis, there is a risk of "never arriving at this truth" in the moment when "we 'devalue a little the Christian life", reducing it to a list of things to observe and thus losing the ardor, the force of the '"love that is inside" of it:
"But philosophers say that peace is a certain ordered tranquility: everything is tidy and quiet ... That is not the Christian peace! Christian peace is an uneasy peace, not a quiet peace: it is an uneasy peace, which goes on to carry this message of reconciliation. The Christian Peace pushes us to move forward. This is the beginning, the root of apostolic zeal. Apostolic zeal is not to go forward to persuade and make statistics: this year Christians in this country have grown, in this movement ... Statistics are good, they help, but that is not what God wants from us ,is to persuade... What the Lord wants from us is to announce this reconciliation, which is his own core message ."
Concluding his homily the Pope recalls the inner anxiety of Paul. Pope Francis underlines that which defines the "pillar" of Christian life, namely, that "Christ became sin for me! And my sins are there in his body, in his soul! This - says the Pope - it's crazy, but it's beautiful, it's true! This is the scandal of the Cross!"
"We ask the Lord to give us this concern to proclaim Jesus, to give us a bit of 'that Christian wisdom that was born from His pierced side of love. Just a little to convince us that the Christian life is not a spa therapy: to be at peace until Heaven ... No, the Christian life is the road in life with this concern of Paul. The love of Christ urges us on, it pushes us on, with this emotion that one feels when one sees that God loves us. We ask this grace."