With our witness to the truth, Christians must cause
discomfort in “our comfortable structures”, even to the point of ending up
“in trouble”, because we must be enlivened by “a healthy spiritual
craziness” in all “outskirts of existence”. Following the example of St
Paul, who “fought one battle after another”, believers must not retreat “to
a relaxed life”.
Today there are “too many arm-chair Christians”, those
who are “lukewarm”, people for whom “everything goes well”, but who do not
have “inner apostolic ardour”. This was the forceful call to the mission —
not only in far off lands but in the city — that Pope Francis delivered on
Thursday, 16 May, at the Mass in the Chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
The starting point of his reflection was taken from the
Acts of the Apostles (22:30; 23:6-11) which tells of St Paul’s battles. It
is “Paul who causes discomfort”. Paul was a man, explained the Pontiff, “who
through his teaching and his attitude caused great discomfort because he
proclaimed Jesus Christ. And the message of Jesus Christ makes our
comfortable structures, even Christian ones, uncomfortable”.
The Pope also called on the Holy Spirit so that “he may
give to all of us apostolic fervour; may he also give us the grace to feel
uncomfortable about certain aspects of the Church which are too relaxed; the
grace to go forward to the existential outskirts. The Church is in great
need of this! Not only in far away lands, in young Churches, to peoples who
do not yet know Jesus Christ. But here in the city, right in the city, we
need Jesus Christ’s message. We thus ask the Holy Spirit for this grace of
apostolic zeal: be Christians with apostolic zeal. And if we make others
uncomfortable, blessed be the Lord. Let’s go, and as the Lord says to Paul:
Concelebrating with the Pope, among others, were Cardinal
Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson and Bishop Mario Toso, President and Secretary,
respectively, of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace; Mons. Luigi
MistÚ, Secretary of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See
(apsa); and Jesuit, Fr Hugo Guillermo Ortiz, head of Spanish programming at
Vatican Radio. Employees of the dicastery Iustitia et Pax and a group
from Vatican Radio.