“We believe in God who is Father, who is Son, who is Holy Spirit. We believe in Persons, and when we talk to God we talk to Persons: or I speak with the Father, or I speak with the Son, or I speak with the Holy Spirit. And this is the faith.”
That was Pope Francis at Thursday morning Mass, begging us to be drawn deeper into the reality of the Trinity.
“Faith is a gift that begins in our encounter with Jesus, a real, tangible person and not an intangible essence, ‘mist’ or ‘spray’,” he said.
Jesus also says that no one can come to him “unless drawn by the Father who sent me.” Pope Francis said that these words show that “to go to Jesus, to find Jesus, to know Jesus, is a gift” that God bestows on us, according to the Vatican Radio translation.
Pope Francis was encouraging, cautioning against discouragement:
those who have faith have eternal life, they have life. But faith is a gift, it is the Father who gifts it. We must continue on this path. But if we travel this path, it is always with our own baggage — because we are all sinners and we all always have things that are wrong. But the Lord will forgive us if we ask for forgiveness, and so we should always press onwards, without being discouraged – but on that path what happened to the royal treasurer will happen to us too.
He pointed to the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, where Christ sends Philip to explain the Old Testament in the light of the Resurrection to an officer of the court of the Queen of Egypt. That officer — observed Pope Francis — was not a “common man” but a royal treasurer and because of this, “we may think he was a bit attached to the money”, “a careerist.” Yet, said the Pope, when this individual listens to Philip speak to him of Jesus “he hears that it is good news”, “he feels joy,” to the point of being baptized in the first place they find water… “And he went on his way rejoicing.”
“It is the joy of faith,” Pope Francis observed, “the joy of having encountered Jesus, the joy that only Jesus gives us, the joy that gives peace: not what the world gives, but what gives Jesus. This is our faith. We ask the Lord to help us grow in this faith, this faith that makes us strong, that makes us joyful, this faith that always begins with our encounter with Jesus and always continues throughout our lives in our small daily encounters with Jesus. ”
But “who is this God you believe in?” Pope Francis asked, during the morning homily. It’s a question that should lead us to prayer, lead us to Him. Perhaps we can start this day with a reflection on the Holy Father’s own meditation: “We believe in God who is Father, who is Son, who is Holy Spirit. We believe in Persons, and when we talk to God we talk to Persons: or I speak with the Father, or I speak with the Son, or I speak with the Holy Spirit. And this is the faith.”
He didn’t make this up, it comes from Jesus — God who walked this earth and walks with us today on the path to eternal life with Him — as recorded by John:
Jesus said to the crowds: «No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day.
It is written in the prophets: ‘They shall all be taught by God.’ Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me.
Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father.
Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.
I am the bread of life.
Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died;
this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat it and not die.
I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”
Go to God. That’s all He asks. Make time for Reconciliation today. Make time for Mass. Make time for prayer. Encounter the Risen Christ. Pray to hear with our Father’s ears, to see with His eyes, to love with His Heart. Be ablaze with the power of the Holy Spirit. Invite the world to the eternal wedding feast we can get but a glorious, consoling, igniting taste of in prayer, in the Trinitarian life.