Pope Francis First Day First Homily

The humility that has couched Pope Francis from the start of his Papacy continued today when he left the Vatican early and delivered a bouquet and prayed for guidance at the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, the oldest church in the world dedicated to the Madonna, before a famous icon of the Madonna called the Salus Populi Romani, or Protectress of the Roman People.

Image source 

Pope Francis celebrated his first Mass in the Sistine Chapel, 
concelebrating with his fellow cardinals who elected the Argentinian Jesuit the 266th Roman pontiff.


His short homily, was delivered without notes, was given in Italian, in place of the Latin preferred by his predecessor, the pope emeritus, and in another shift from the usual Papal protocol, was delivered standing at the pulpit and not from the chapel's throne, aka Peter's seat.

He urged the Catholic church to emphasize its core faith and the Gospels or risk becoming like "a compassionate NGO," referring to non-governmental organizations that provide community services.
He warned that following anything other than spiritual values was like children building sand-castles on a beach, Reuters reported. "Then everything comes crashing down," he said.
This is the full text of his homily at today's Mass in The Sistine Chapel (H/T to Rocco Palmo at Whispers In The Loggia )

"In these three readings [Isaiah 2:2-5, 1 Peter 2:4-9, Matthew 16:13-19] I see that there is something in common: it is movement. In the first reading, movement is the journey [itself]; in the second reading, movement is in the up-building of the Church. In the third, in the Gospel, the movement is in [the act of] profession: walking, building, professing. 

Walking: the House of Jacob. “O house of Jacob, Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord.” This is the first thing God said to Abraham: “Walk in my presence and be blameless.” Walking: our life is a journey and when we stop, there is something wrong. Walking always, in the presence of the Lord, in the light of the Lord, seeking to live with that blamelessness, which God asks of Abraham, in his promise. 

Building: to build the Church. There is talk of stones: stones have consistency, but [the stones spoken of are] living stones, stones anointed by the Holy Spirit. Build up the Church, the Bride of Christ, the cornerstone of which is the same Lord. With [every] movement in our lives, let us build! 

Third, professing: we can walk as much we want, we can build many things, but if we do not confess Jesus Christ, nothing will avail. We will become a pitiful NGO, but not the Church, the Bride of Christ. When one does not walk, one stalls. When one does not built on solid rocks, what happens? What happens is what happens to children on the beach when they make sandcastles: everything collapses, it is without consistency. When one does not profess Jesus Christ - I recall the phrase of Leon Bloy – “Whoever does not pray to God, prays to the devil.” When one does not profess Jesus Christ, one professes the worldliness of the devil. 

Walking, building-constructing, professing: the thing, however, is not so easy, because in walking, in building, in professing, there are sometimes shake-ups - there are movements that are not part of the path: there are movements that pull us back. 

This Gospel continues with a special situation. The same Peter who confessed Jesus Christ, says, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. I will follow you, but let us not speak of the Cross. This has nothing to do with it.” He says, “I’ll follow you on other ways, that do not include the Cross.” When we walk without the Cross, when we build without the Cross, and when we profess Christ without the Cross, we are not disciples of the Lord. We are worldly, we are bishops, priests, cardinals, Popes, but not disciples of the Lord. 

I would like that all of us, after these days of grace, might have the courage - the courage - to walk in the presence of the Lord, with the Cross of the Lord: to build the Church on the Blood of the Lord, which is shed on the Cross, and to profess the one glory, Christ Crucified. In this way, the Church will go forward. 

My hope for all of us is that the Holy Spirit, that the prayer of Our Lady, our Mother, might grant us this grace: to walk, to build, to profess Jesus Christ Crucified. So be it."
This article from NBC is informative and I enjoyed reading this snippet of his first evening after being made Pope:

 "Pope Francis declined the official papal car for his first journey from the Sistine Chapel, choosing instead to board a bus with cardinals who had just elected him. Later, at dinner, the new pope prompted laughter by responding to their toast with the remark: "May God forgive you for what you have done."
Click here for a slide show from yesterday and some of Pope Francis before he was elected, including this one of him as a young priest with his family.

On Saturday morning, he will hold an audience with journalists and media personnel in the Paul VI Hall, as his predecessors did.
At noon on Sunday he will pray the Angelus and make remarks from the window of his Papal apartment.
On Tuesday March 19 at 9:30 a.m. in St. Peter’s Square he will be installed as Pope.

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