It turns out, as we all know, that the only weapon that was needed for this Martian invasion was Holy Water and Baptism. This is my favorite Martian movie and I would have loved to have gotten this Martian into St. Joseph's RCIA!
Radio) "Who are we to close the doors " to the Holy Spirit? This was
the question that Pope Francis repeated this morning during his homily
at Mass at Casa Santa Marta, a homily dedicated to the conversion of the
first pagans to Christianity. The Holy Spirit, he reiterated , is what
makes the Church to go "beyond the limits, go ever forward".
Spirit blows where it wills, but one of the most common temptations of
those who have faith is to bar its path and drive it in one direction or
another. A temptation that was not alien even in the early days of the
Church, as the experience of Simon Peter in today’s reading from the
Acts of the Apostles shows. A community of pagans welcomes the
announcement of the Gospel and Peter is an eyewitness to the descent of
the Holy Spirit on them. First hesitates to make contact with what he
had always considered "unclean " and then he suffers harsh criticism
from the Christians of Jerusalem, shocked by the fact that their leader
had eaten with the "uncircumcised" and had even baptized them. A moment
of internal crisis that Pope Francis recalls with a hint of irony :
was unthinkable. If – for example - tomorrow an expedition of Martians
came, and some of them came to us, here ... Martians, right? Green ,
with that long nose and big ears, just like children paint them... And
one says, 'But I want to be baptized! ' . What would happen ? " .
understands his error when a vision enlightens him to a fundamental
truth: that which has been purified by God cannot be called "profane" by
anyone. And in narrating these facts to the crowd that criticized him,
the Apostle, calms them all with this statement : " If then God gave
them the same gift he gave to us when we came to believe in the Lord
Jesus Christ, who was I to be able to hinder God? " .
the Lord shows us the way, who are we to say, 'No, Lord, it is not
prudent! No, lets do it this way ' ... and Peter in that first diocese -
the first diocese was Antioch - makes this decision: ‘Who am I to admit
impediments?'. A nice word for bishops, for priests and for Christians .
Who are we to close doors? In the early Church, even today, there is
the ministry of the ostiary [usher]. And what did the ostiary do? He
opened the door, received the people, allowed them to pass. But it was
never the ministry of the closed door, never".
Francis repeated, God has left the guidance of the Church "in the hands
of the Holy Spirit". "The Holy Spirit - he continued - as Jesus said,
will teach us everything" and "remind us what Jesus taught us":
Holy Spirit is the living presence of God in the Church. He keeps the
Church going, keeps the Church moving forward. More and more, beyond the
limits, onwards. The Holy Spirit with his gifts guides the Church . You
cannot understand the Church of Jesus without this Paraclete, whom the
Lord sends us for this very reason. And he makes unthinkable choices,
but unimaginable! To use a word of St. John XXIII : it is the Holy
Spirit that updates the Church: Really, he really the updates it and
keeps it going. And we Christians must ask the Lord for the grace of
docility to the Holy Spirit. Docility in this Spirit, who speaks to us
in our heart, who speaks to us in all of life’s circumstances, who
speaks to us in the Church's life, in Christian communities, who is
always speaking to us”.