Saturday greetings. Just had to post today because today is the 55th Anniversary of my baptism.
Also, I found today's homily by Pope Francis to be a great gift on this day:
The faith of the People of God is a simple faith, a faith that is perhaps without much theology, but it has an inward theology that is not wrong, because the Spirit is behind it … Vatican II says “the holy people of God ... cannot err in matters of belief” (Lumen Gentium) … If you want to know who Mary is go to the theologian and he will tell you exactly who Mary is. But if you want to know how to love Mary, then go to the People of God who teach it better. The People of God are always asking for something closer to Jesus. They are sometimes a bit insistent in this. But it is the insistence of those who believe … I remember once, coming out of the city of Salta, on the patronal feast. There was a humble lady who asked for a priest’s blessing. The priest said, ‘All right, but you were at the Mass’ and explained the whole theology of blessing in the church. ‘Ah, thank you father, yes father,’ said the woman. When the priest had gone, the woman turned to another priest: ‘Give me your blessing!’ All these words did not register with her because she had another necessity: the need to be touched by the Lord. That is the faith that we always look for. This is the faith that brings the Holy Spirit. We must facilitate it, make it grow, help it grow.
Then there is the story of the blind man of Jericho who was rebuked by the disciples because he cried to the Lord, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” The Gospel says that they didn’t want him to shout, but he wanted to shout more. Why? Because he had faith in Jesus! The Holy Spirit had put faith in his heart. And they said, ‘No, you cannot do this! You don’t shout to the Lord. Protocol does not allow it. They were as if saying to the Second Person of the Trinity, “Look what you do!’ … And think about the attitude of many Christians. Think of the good Christians, with good will. We think about the parish secretary, ‘Good evening or good morning, the two of us - boyfriend and girlfriend - we want to get married.’ And instead of saying, ‘That’s great!,’ they say, ‘Oh, well, have a seat. If you want the Mass, it costs a lot ...’ They say this instead of receiving a warm welcome, ‘ It is a good thing to get married!’ But, instead they get this response: ‘Do you have the certificate of baptism,?’ ... and they find a closed door when this Christian and that Christian has the ability to open a door, thanking God for this fact of a new marriage.
We are many times controllers of fait, instead of becoming facilitators of the faith of the people … And there is always a temptation to try and take possession of the Lord. Then think about a single mother who goes to church, and she says to the secretary, ‘I want my child baptized.’ And then this Christian says: ‘No, you cannot because you’re not married!’ But look, this girl who had the courage to carry her pregnancy and not to return her son to the sender, what is it? A closed door! This is not zeal! It is far from the Lord! It does not open doors!
And so when we are on this road, have this attitude, we do not do good to people, the People of God. But, Jesus instituted the seven sacraments with the attitude of an open door and we are establishing the eighth: the sacrament of pastoral customs! … Jesus is indignant when he sees these things because those who suffer are his faithful people, the people that he loves so much. We think today of Jesus, who always wants us all to be closer to Him. We think of the Holy People of God, a simple people, who want to get closer to Jesus. We think of so many Christians of goodwill who are wrong and that instead of opening a door for them, we close the door of goodwill ... So we ask the Lord that all those who come to the Church find the doors open to meet this love of Jesus. We ask this grace.
The First Sacrament: Baptism. The Eighth Sacrament: The Sacrament of Pastoral Customs! Just awed by this homily today. Thank you God and my parents for the gift of Baptism and to you, Pope Francis, for your gift today. Gotta sing. Gotta pray.