On the day when the Church is celebrating the memory of St. Thomas Aquinas – the Dominican Doctor Angelicus who died in 1274 – during the usual morning Mass at St. Martha’s House, the Pope has pointed out that a Christian’s heart has to be magnanimous because (s)he is the son of a “Father with a big heart”. Commenting on the day’s Gospel in which Jesus says that light does not come “to be put under a bushel, or under the bed, but to be put on a candlestick to illuminate,” Pope Francis explained that the specificity of the Christian is witnessing God’s light.
“And this is one of the traits of a Christian, who has received light in baptism and must give it. That is, the Christian is a witness. Testimony. One of the peculiarities of Christian attitudes. A Christian who carries this light must show it because he is a witness. When Christians prefer not to see the light of God, but prefer their own darkness, it enters their heart because they are afraid of light, and like dark idols better, they lack: they lack something and they are not true Christians. Testimony: a Christian is a witness. Jesus Christ, the Light of God. (S)he has to put that light on the candlestick of their life.”
Reminding that Jesus says in the Gospel: “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you; actually you will be given more” he added: “A Christian heart is magnanimous. It is always open. This heart does not close up in its selfishness. Or at least it counts: till here, till there. When you enter this light of Jesus, when you come in friendship with Jesus, when you let yourself be guided by the Holy Spirit, your heart becomes open and magnanimous… The Christian does not earn at that point: he loses. But he loses to gain something else, and this ‘defeat’ – so to say – of interests, he earns Jesus, earns becoming Jesus’ witness.”
Then, Pope Francis addressed those who have reached 50 years of priesthood among the present: “For me it is a joy to celebrate with you today, who celebrate the 50th year of your priesthood: 50 years on the road of light and testimony, 50 years trying to be better, trying to carry light on the candlestick: often it falls, but we go again, always with the generous desire to give light, that is, with a magnanimous heart. God alone knows and your memory know how many people you have received with generosity, with the kindness of fathers and brothers… To how many people whose heart was a little dark have you given light, the light of Jesus? Thank you. Thank you for what you have done inside the Church, for the Church and for Jesus. “”May the Lord give you joy, the great joy – the Pope concluded – of having sown good, of having illuminated well, and of having opened your arms to receive everyone with magnanimity.”