What Is Required of Us to Be Part of His Flock
Pope Francis says a Christian who doesn’t allow himself to be led by the Father is an orphan.
The Holy Father stressed this during his daily morning Mass this morning at Casa Santa Marta, reported Vatican Radio.
The Pope drew inspiration from today’s biblical passage which recounted of the Scribes and Pharisees who repeatedly asked Jesus each time he performed a miracle, preached in the temple or pointed the way to the Father: ‘How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.’
Continuing to ask this question, the Pope underscored, “springs from a heart that is closed and blind to the faith.”
The Pope urged those gathered in his chapel to realize we have a Father who can lead us to Jesus.
“The humble prayer we can say,” Francis encouraged, “is: ‘Father, lead me to Jesus, help me to know Jesus’ and the Father will send the Spirit to open our hearts and lead us to Him.”
What It Means to Be Part of His Flock
“Being part of God’s flock is a grace which requires an open heart,” the Pope said.
Jesus says in the reading, ‘My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand,” the Pope quoted.
Pope Francis then asked: ‘Have these sheep studied how to follow Jesus and then believed?’ the Pope asked. “No, he said, citing the words from St John’s Gospel, “My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all”. It is the Father who gives the sheep to the shepherd. It is the Father who draws our hearts to Jesus.
Drama of Hardened Hearts
The hardness of the Scribes and Pharisees’ hearts, the Pope said, “is a drama which continues all the way to Calvary.” the Pope said, noting various examples of those who witnessed Jesus’ miracles, but refused to believe. And this, the Pope explained, has its consequences, “because they are orphans who have denied their Father.”
“These doctors of the law,” he highlighted, “had closed hearts, they thought they were their own masters but in fact they were orphans because they had no relationship with the Father. They talked about their fathers, Abraham and the patriarchs, but these were distant figures and in their hearts they were orphans because they would not let themselves be drawn to the Father.”
Pope Francis concluded by saying Jesus invites us to be His disciples but to be so, we must let ourselves be drawn by the Father towards Him.