No need for Advent —unless we recognize our sinfulness…
(CUSA) – Intellect without and infusion of divine light is a ceiling that cannot be penetrated when seeking truth.
Prayer and humility must accompany intellectual endeavors, especially those of theology, in order to bear fruit for all of humanity instead of elevating the self and setting one’s own thought as the supreme source of truth. This homily is from last year but captures an important aspect of Christianity, namely, the need for simplicity and humility. —Ed.
HOMILY OF POPE FRANCIS
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2014
Dear brothers and sisters,
The eyes of the poor are most likely to see Christ and, through him, to see the face of God. Others who claim to fathom this mystery with the resources of intelligence must first get down on their knees in an act of humility, otherwise they will not understand anything.
He makes us know the Father, introduces us to this inner life that He has. And who reveals that, the Father? Who gives this grace? ‘I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little ones’.
Only those whose hearts are like the young are capable of receiving this revelation, the humble of heart, the meek, who feel the need to pray, to open up to God, who feel poor; only he who goes forward with the first Beatitude: the poor in spirit.
Therefore, poverty is a privileged gift that opens the door to the mystery of God. A gift that sometimes may be lacking in those dedicated to a life of study.
Many may know the science, theology well, so many! But if they do not practice this theology on their knees, humbly, like children, they will not understand anything. It will tell them many things, but they will not understand anything.
Only with this poverty is one capable of receiving the revelation that the Father gives through Jesus, through Jesus. Jesus is, not like a captain, an army general, a powerful ruler, no, no.
He is like a bud. Just like we heard in the First Reading: ‘On that day, a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse.’ He is a bud that is humble, mild, and came to the humble, and to the meek, to bring salvation to the sick, the poor, the oppressed.
The mystery Jesus is that of humbling oneself. It is a mystery that brings salvation to the poor, brings comfort to those who are stricken by many diseases, sins and difficult situations. Out of this context you cannot understand the mystery of Jesus.
We ask the Lord, in this Advent season, to bring us nearer to his mystery and to do so the way that He wants us to do: the way of humility, the way of meekness, the way of poverty, the road where we feel sin. So that he can come to save us, to free us. May the Lord give us this grace.
Translation from Vatican Radio