First impressions tell us a great deal about individuals. A Prelate’s first homily usually lays out his plan for those whom he governs. For Pope Francis, here we have the first homily to the Princes of the Church. Vatican News has the full text.
I wonder what the Cardinals were thinking when Pope Francis said,
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.
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.
It seems that the Pope’s reform has already begun, starting with himself and then the Princes of the Church. And yet, with his warning he offers a beautiful and collegial invitation,
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.
“Francis, Go and Rebuild My Church!”