Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Pope Francis: “The light of Jesus doesn’t put on a show”

The following comes from the Vatican Insider:

Light is the main symbol of Christianity. It characterises and adequately captures the essence of Christianity. The light of the world on the other hand is an “artificial” light. This was the focus of Pope Francis’ second mass in St. Martha’s House since the end of the brief summer break.

“You can know everything; you can have knowledge of all things and this light on things. But the light of Jesus is something else. It is not a light of ignorance, no! It’s a light of wisdom and sagacity, but it is something other than the light of the world. The light that the world offers us is an artificial light, strong, perhaps – but that of Jesus is stronger, eh! - strong like a firework, like a flash of photography. Instead, the light of Jesus is a mild light, it is a quiet light, it is a light of peace, it’s like the light on Christmas night: without pretence,” Francis said in his homily, published on the Vatican Radio website.

Sometimes we inevitably find ourselves blinded by the wrong kind of light, the kind that brings one into the limelight or the light of personal success that fulfils one’s own interests. We often give more importance to appearing rather than being. But this glimmer of light could be the devil in disguise, “an angel of light” who “likes to imitate Jesus and do good, he speaks to us quietly, as he spoke to Jesus after the fast in the desert.” “The light of Jesus, he continued, “doesn’t put on a show. It’s a light that comes into the heart … It’s a light that speaks to the heart, and also a light that offers you the Cross. If we, in our inner light are meek, if we hear the voice of Jesus in the heart and look on the Cross without fear: that is the light of Jesus.”

This is not the first time Pope Francis invites faithful to come out of the spotlight (of their own vocations), that pretentious light that makes humans slaves of their own image. “But if a light comes that “makes you arrogant,” a light that “brings you to look on others from on high” to despise others, “that leads you to pride” – that is not the light of Jesus: it’s the light of the devil, disguised as Jesus, as an angel of light,” the Pope said. “Wherever Jesus is, there is always humility, meekness, love, and the Cross.” But, he added, sometimes “we find a Jesus that is not humble, that is not meek, that is without love, and without the Cross.” So we must follow the true Jesus “without fear,” following His light because the light of Jesus “is beautiful and does so much good,” Francis added.

Speaking about the devil’s disguises and his deceptive ways, Francis said: “Jesus doesn’t need an army to cast out the demons, He has no need of pride, no need of force, of arrogance. ‘What is there about His word? For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.’ This is a humble word, meek, with so much love; it is a word that accompanies us in the moments of the Cross. Let us ask the Lord to give us today the grace of His Light, and to teach us to distinguish when the light is from Him, and when it is an artificial light, made by the enemy to deceive us.”

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