Friday, May 25, 2018


Pope Francis is the most pedestrian pope we've had and very pastoral, like a country pastor. This can be good or bad for the papacy depending on your ideologies.

There's so much to like here, except when the Holy Father is so judgemental about the doctors of the law who say "yes"and "no." This is problematic on many levels and is the cause of so much turmoil in the Church today as well as outright division and the possibility of schism.

So today's Gospel was about Jesus return marriage to what God intended for it in the first place and yes it is Jesus who calls those who divorce their spouse and marry another adulterers. He doesn't mince His words so I guess this makes Him a Doctor of the Law??????

So what is good in this daily homily of the pope and what is questionable?

Pope Francis at Mass at the Casa Santa Marta Pope Francis at Mass at the Casa Santa Marta  (Vatican Media)

Pope Francis: Marriage is an image of God

Despite the difficulties in marriage and family life, Pope Francis invites us to consider the beauty of marriage in his homily at the morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta.
Pope Francis spoke about the beauty of marriage in his homily at the Casa Santa Marta on Friday. Among the faithful present at the morning Mass were seven married couples celebrating their 25th and 50th wedding anniversaries.

“Yes, you can” or “no, you can’t”

The Gospel passage for the day, from the Gospel of St Mark, speaks of the intentions of the Pharisees, who asked Jesus a question precisely in order to test Him. Pope Francis described questions of this kind, about what you can or can’t do, as casuistic. He explained: “Not the great ‘yes’ or ‘no,’ with which we are familiar. This is God.” Instead, the Pharisees reduce the Christian life, the way of following God, to a question of “yes, you can,” or “no, you can’t.”

Let us see the beauty of marriage

The question posed by the Pharisees concerned marriage; they wanted to know if it was lawful for a husband to divorce his wife. But, said Pope Francis, Jesus goes beyond the simple question of lawfulness, going back to the “the beginning.” Jesus speaks about marriage as it is in itself, perhaps the greatest thing created by God in those seven days of Creation.
“From the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother, and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” Jesus words in the Gospel are very strong, the Pope said. He speaks of “one flesh” which cannot be divided. Jesus “lays aside the problem of separation, and goes to the beauty of the couple,” who ought to be one. The Pope continued:
We must not focus, like these doctors do, on [the answer] "Yes, you can" divide a marriage, or "No, you can’t."  At times there is misfortune, when it doesn't work, and it is better to separate in order to avoid a world war. But this is a misfortune. Let us go and look at the positive.

You can always go forward

Pope Francis told of how he met a couple who were celebrating 60 years of marriage. He said he asked them, “Are you happy?” They looked at one another, and with tears in their eyes, answered, “We are in love!”
It’s true that there are difficulties, there are problems with children or with the couple themselves, arguments and fights… but the important thing is that the flesh remains one, and you can overcome, you can overcome, you can overcome. And this is not only a sacrament for them, but also for the Church, a sacrament, as it were, that attracts attention: “See, love is possible!” And love is capable of allowing you to live your whole life “in love”: in joy and in sorrow, with the problems of children, and their own problems… but always going forward. In sickness and in health, but always going forward. This is beautiful.

The couple: the image and likeness of God

Man and woman are created in God’s image and likeness; and for this reason, marriage likewise becomes an image of God. This makes marriage very beautiful, the Pope said. “Matrimony is a silent homily for everyone else, a daily homily.”
It’s sad when this is not news: the newspapers, the TV news shows, don’t consider this news. But this couple, together for so many years… it’s not news. Scandal, divorce, separation – these are considered newsworthy. (Although at times its necessary to separate, as I said, to avoid a greater evil). The image of God isn’t news. But this is the beauty of marriage. They [the couple] are the image and likeness of God. And this is our news, the Christian news.

Patience is the most important virtue

Marriage and family life is not easy, the Pope repeated. He pointed to the first Reading, where St James speaks about patience. Patience, he said, is “perhaps the most important virtue for the couple – both for the man and for the woman.” He concluded his homily with a prayer that the Lord “might give to the Church and to society a more profound and more beautiful understanding of marriage, so that we all might be able to appreciate and reflect upon [the fact] that the image and likeness of God is present in marriage.”


Marc said...

Being a true pastor means speaking the truth plainly. We need to move past this era where “pastoral” is a euphemism for “heretic who tells people what they want to hear.”

ByzRC said...

I suppose the good is HH's emphasis on the beauty of the sacrament and what is questionable is focusing solely on the positive at the expense of the negative.

As for the accompanying photo, it is good to see HH "modeling" the liturgical richness of the Church by continuing to celebrate daily mass in a chapel with no clear delineation between the altar and the nave, with partly vested concelebrants and a temporary end table/telephone table with a table runner/doile for the reliquary.

TJM said...



rcg said...

I am no Mark Thomas, but I cringe at the premise of looking through the Pope’s homily to judge what is good and what is questionable. Then I see one anyway. The translation has him saying that a misfortune results in the need for separation. I totally reject that idea. If the marriage is valid to start then it is there so that the couple help each other endure misfortune. If it is discovered that the marriage should never have been, then they can pursue annulment. The misfortune was the flawed marriage, not a subsequent circumstance.

TJM said...

r cg, what else would you expect from an “all about me” culture? Once you marry and have children, you are no longer free to choose, unless you are self-centered