Humans Are Slaves to Appearances

January 28, 2016 at 12:52 pm Leave a comment

Pope’s Morning Homily: Humans Are Slaves to Appearances But God Knows the Truth

At Casa Santa Marta, Says There Is No Saint Without a Past and No Sinner Without a Future

Human beings are often the slaves of appearances, but God knows the truth, looking “into the heart.”

Pope Francis offered this reflection during his morning homily today in Casa Santa Marta, Vatican Radio reported.

The Pope drew his homily from the reading from 1 Samuel, which recounts God instructing the prophet to choose David, the youngest of Jesse’s sons.

The Pope pointed out that God did not choose according to human standards, since David was only a youth.

But the Lord made it clear to the prophet Samuel that he looks beyond appearances: “The Lord looks into the heart.”

“We are often the slaves of appearances and allow ourselves to pursue appearances: ‘But God knows the truth.’ And that is so in this story,” the Holy Father said. “Jesse’s seven sons are presented and the Lord does not choose any of them, he lets them pass by. Samuel is in a bit of difficulty and says to Jesse: ‘The Lord has not chosen any of them, are these all the sons you have? And Jesse replied that there was still the youngest, who is tending the sheep’. To the eyes of man this boy did not count.”

Nevertheless, David was God’s chosen one and the “Spirit of the Lord rushed upon David” and from that day on “the whole of David’s life was the life of a man anointed by the Lord, chosen by the Lord,” the Pope said.

Life’s journey

But did this mean that God immediately made David a saint, the Pope asked.

No, he answered. “King David is saint King David, this is true, but he became a saint after living a long life” a life during which he sinned:

“A saint and a sinner. A man who managed to unite the Kingdom; he was able to lead the people of Israel. But he fell into temptation … he committed sins: he was also a murderer. To cover up his lust, the sin of adultery… he commissioned a murder. He did! Did saint King David commit murder? When God sent the prophet Nathan to point this reality out to him, because he was not aware of the barbarity he had ordered, he acknowledged his sin and asked for forgiveness.”

The Holy Father noted how David’s life continued with suffering over the betrayal of his son, but how he “never used God for his own purpose.” When he was insulted, the Pope pointed out, David would say to himself: “It’s what I deserve.”

And then, Francis noted, “he was magnanimous”: he could have killed Saul “but he did not do so.” Saint King David, a great sinner, but a repentant one.

“The life of this man moves me,” the Pope said.

“We have all been chosen by the Lord to be baptized, to be part of His people, to be saints; we have been consecrated by the Lord on the path towards sainthood. Reading about this life, the life of a child – no… not a child, he was a boy – from boyhood to old age, during which he did many good things and others that were not so good. It makes me think that during the Christian journey, the journey the Lord has invited us to undertake, there is no saint without a past and no sinner without a future.”

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Entry filed under: Catechesis.

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