Pope Francis: The Christian life is about showing up

By Hannah Brockhaus

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Jubilee audience in St. Peter's Square with Pope Francis on Nov. 12, 2016. Credit: Lucia Ballester / CNA.

To live a Christian life, we can’t run away or hide from God’s will, Pope Francis said Tuesday. Rather, we must continuously show up – speaking to God in prayer and striving to do his will.

“The Christian life is this: Here I am, here I am, I continue to do the will of the Lord,” the Pope said in his homily at Santa Marta Jan. 24.

His homily reflected on the day’s first reading from Hebrews, where it says that Christ came into the world not for burnt offerings or sacrifices, but to do the will of the Father.

All of Salvation history is a story of people saying ‘here I am’ to God, he pointed out.

“And one after another…It's beautiful to read Scripture, the Bible, looking for the answers of people to the Lord, how they answered, and to find those is so beautiful. 'Here I am, I come to do your will.'”

And we don’t have to worry, because no matter what he is asking us to do, “The Lord is always in dialogue with those whom he invites” to do his work, Francis explained.

“He has lots of patience, lots of patience.”

Today's liturgy invites us to reflect and ask ourselves: 'How am I doing at responding to the Lord's call?' the Pope continued.

He invited attendees at the Mass to reflect: Do I hide like Adam in the Garden of Eden, not responding? Do I run away like Jonah, or look the other way like the Levite and the priest when they saw the man wounded and beaten by strangers?

Sometimes, in the course of our lives, we may get angry with God, Francis noted. But this can also be a way to pray: as our Father, “he likes to discuss with us,” the Pope said. Even if you are angry, still pray – tell God how you feel.

This is just another way of responding to God, of saying “here I am,” he said.

The alternative, Pope Francis said, is to hide, run away, pretend, or look the other way.

“Each of us can answer: How is my 'Here I am' to the Lord, doing his will in my life? How is it? May the Holy Spirit give us the grace to find the answer.”

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