The Pope, in his General Audience on Wednesday, reflected on St Peter’s belief that the Resurrection of Jesus is something new and that it results in us “being freed from slavery and sin and we become children of God, that we are born to new life.”
This, the Pope says, happens to us “in the Sacrament of Baptism.” Through Baptism we are born as children of God and are treated as His children. The Pope continued “He understands us, forgives us, embraces us, loves us even when we make mistakes…this is a beautiful thing, beautiful!”
The Pope encouraged us to allow this filial relationship with God to grow saying “it must be nourished every day by hearing the Word of God, prayer, participation in the sacraments, especially the Sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist and charity. We can live as children! We can live as children! And this is our dignity. So let us behave as true children! This means that each day we must let Christ transform us and make us like Him; it means trying to live as Christians, trying to follow him, even if we see our limitations and our weaknesses.”
He then expressed his understanding that this takes courage: “The temptation to put God to one side, to put ourselves at the centre is ever-present and the experience of sin wounds our Christian life, our being children of God. This is why we must have the courage of faith, we must resist being led to the mentality that tells us: “There is no need for God, He is not that important for you.””
The Pope suggested that the exact opposite is true, saying “only by behaving as children of God, without being discouraged by our falls, can we feel loved by Him, our life will be new, inspired by serenity and joy. God is our strength! God is our hope!”
Pope Francis then concluded his Audience with an instruction that we should point to the Risen Christ.
“Let us point to Him with the proclamation of the Word, but especially with our resurrected life. Let us show the joy of being children of God, the freedom he gifts us to live in Christ, who is true freedom, freedom from the slavery of evil, sin and death! In looking to our heavenly home, we will also have a new light and strength in our commitment and in our daily efforts.
“It is a precious service we give to our world, which is often no longer able to lift its gaze upwards, it no longer seems able to lift its gaze towards God.”
The Pope uses powerful words at the end of his Audience, encouraging us to take charge of the world and invite people to lift their gaze towards the Father. And why not? That is where our salvation rests after all!
The excitement and buzz around Pope Francis’s appointment has been somewhat diluted over recent weeks with the hustle and bustle of normal daily life kicking in once more. And this is true for Catholic people as much as it is for those who are not members of the Church. However, we must continue to listen to our Holy Father and let his words work in us. He is our link to Heaven and through him we can learn so much about what we must do to develop our relationship with God, how we can be true children of God, and give us confidence to lift the heads of others so that they too can see the Glory of the Almighty Father.