MORNING MEDITATION IN THE CHAPEL OF THE
Renewal without fear
Saturday, 6 July 2013
(by L'Osservatore Romano, Weekly ed. in English, n.
27, 17 July 2013)
In his homily Pope
Francis extended an
invitation to the special
groups and Vatican staff
participating in the Mass to
let themselves be renewed by
the Holy Spirit and not to
fear the new, or renewal.
Commenting on the Gospel (Mt 9:14-17) the Pope focused on the innovative
spirit that motivated Jesus. “For example”, he pointed out, “Jesus said: ‘the
law permits us to hate our enemy, you hate your enemy; but I say to you, pray
for your enemy, do not hate’”; and he applied this precept to things he did not
find so just. For example, as the Gospel passage says, there is the question of
fasting. “Jesus” the Pope explained, advised fasting, but with a certain freedom.
In fact disciples of John ask: “why do we fast and your disciples do not?”. The
fact is that “with Jesus the doctrine of the law is enriched, it is renewed.
Jesus makes all things new, he renews things”, as he himself said, as if it were
his vocation to renew all things. “This is the kingdom of God which Jesus
preached. It is renewal, true renewal. And this renewal begins first of all in
“Christian life is not a collage of things. It is a harmonious totality, the
work of the Holy Spirit. “We cannot be Christian in bits and pieces, part-time
Christians”, the Pope said. “We must be wholly Christian and full time”.
“The newness of the Gospel is a newness in the law itself which is inherent
in the history of salvation”. It is a newness that goes beyond us and “renews
structures. That is why Jesus said new wine needs new skins”. The Church, the
Pope continued, has always gone in this direction, letting the Holy Spirit renew
structures. And she teaches people “to not be afraid of the newness of the
Gospel, of the newness the Holy Spirit works within us”.
Moreover, the Church is free, the Pope said. She is sustained by the Holy
Spirit and Jesus teaches us the freedom we need always to find the newness of
the Gospel in our life and in structures. The freedom to choose new skins for
this newness. The Christian is a free man or woman, with that freedom of Jesus
Christ, and not a slave of habit or of structures”; moreover, it has always been
the Holy Spirit who carries this newness ahead.
The Bishop of Rome ended by inviting those present to ask for “the grace not
to be afraid of the newness of the Gospel or of the renewal that the Holy Spirit
carries out; and not to be afraid to let go of the short-lived structures that