Pope Francis: Christianity is like an invitation to a feast
November 5, 2013 (Romereports.com) Speaking on the Gospel of the day, Pope Francis explained that being a Christian is like an invitation to a feast. It’s an invitation open to everyone, not just “good people.” But he added that everyone must interact at this feast.
“Christian existence cannot be understood without this participation. ‘I go to the feast, but I don’t go beyond the antechamber, because I want to be only with the three or four people that I am familiar with…’ You can’t do this in the Church! You either participate fully or you remain outside. You can’t pick and choose: the Church is for everyone, beginning with those I’ve already mentioned, the most marginalized. It is everyone’s Church!”
The invitation to this feast, the Pope went on to say, is free. But he warned against the attitude of nominal Christians who feel happy just about being “on the list,” but not participating.
EXCERPTS FROM THE HOMILY
Source: Vatican Radio
“A Christian is one who is invited. Invited to what? To a shop? To take a walk? The Lord wants to tell us something more: You are invited to join in the feast, to the joy of being saved, to the joy of being redeemed, to the joy of sharing life with Christ.
“This is a joy! You are called to a party! A feast is a gathering of people who talk, laugh, celebrate, and are happy together. I have never seen anyone party on their own. That would be boring, no?
“Opening the bottle of wine . . . That’s not a feast, it’s something else. You have to party with others, with family, with friends, with those who’ve been invited, as I was invited. Being Christian means belonging, belonging to this body, to the people that have been invited to the feast: this is Christian belonging.
“The Church is not the Church only for good people. Do we want to describe who belongs to the Church, to this feast? The sinners. All of us sinners are invited. At this point there is a community that has diverse gifts: one has the gift of prophecy, another of ministry, who teaching… We all have qualities and strengths.
“But each of us brings to the feast a common gift. Each of us is called to participate fully in the feast. Christian existence cannot be understood without this participation. ‘I go to the feast, but I don’t go beyond the antechamber, because I want to be only with the three or four people that I am familiar with…’ You can’t do this in the Church! You either participate fully or you remain outside. You can’t pick and choose: the Church is for everyone, beginning with those I’ve already mentioned, the most marginalized. It is everyone’s Church!
“The Lord is very generous. The Lord opens all doors. The Lord also understands those who say to Him, ‘No, Lord, I don’t want to go to you.’ He understands and is waiting for them, because He is merciful. But the Lord does not like those who say ‘yes’ and do the opposite; who pretend to thank Him for all the good things; who have good manners, but go their own way and do not follow the way of the Lord: those who always excuse themselves, those who do not know joy, who don’t experience the joy of belonging.
“Let us ask the Lord for this grace of understanding: how beautiful it is to be invited to the feast, how beautiful it is to take part in it and to share one’s qualities, how beautiful it is to be with Him and how wrong it is to dither between ‘yes’ and ‘no,’ to say ‘yes,’ but to be satisfied merely with being a nominal Christian.”