In the reflection Pope Francis has unfolded during the homily of today’s morning Mass celebrated at St. Martha’s House, the Pope describes Jesus as the “right path” of Christian life. The life of faith “is a journey” and we meet different kinds of Christians along the way. Pope Francis makes a quick list: Christian-mummies, wandering Christians, stubborn Christians, and half-Christians. These people forgot – for different reasons – that the only “right path”, as today’s Gospel reminds us, is Jesus who confirmed to Thomas: “I am the way,” “he who has seen me has seen the Father”.
Francis goes on to examine one by one the types of confused Christians, beginning from those who “do not walk” and give the idea of being a little mummified “A Christian who does not walk, does not move on the road, is an unchristian Christian. Nobody knows what it is. He is a little ‘paganized’ Christian: he stands there, still, does not go forward in the Christian life does not make the Beatitudes flourish in his life, does not work mercy… He is still. If I am allowed to say so, he is like a ‘mummy’, a ‘spiritual mummy’. And there are Christians who are ‘spiritual mummies’. They stay still. They do not hurt, but do no goode either.”
But there are also stubborn Christians. When you walk, the Pope acknowledges, it may happen to take a wrong turn. Yet, according to Francis “the tragedy is being stubborn and say ‘this is the way’ and not let the voice of the Lord tell us ‘Go back and resume the true path’“. Then there is the category of Christians who “walk, but do not know where to go”, “they are wandering in Christian life, vagrants. They wander here and there, that is their life. Thus, they lose the beauty of getting closer to Jesus in the life of Jesus. They lose the way, because they walk in circles and many times their wandering, errant wandering, leads them to a life-sac: too much wandering turns into a labyrinth, then you do not know how to get out of it. They have lost Jesus’s call. They have no compass to get out, thus keep going around in circles; searching. Others are seduced by beauty on their way, by a certain thing and they stop half way, fascinated by what they see, by an idea, a proposal, a landscape… and they stop! Christian life is not fascination: it is truth! It is Jesus Christ!”
“The Christian journey you started in Baptism – the Pope asks the faithful –, how is it going? Has it stopped? Have you taken the wrong path? Am I wandering all the time, without knowing where to go spiritually? Do I stop in front of the things I like: worldliness, vanity,” or do I go “on and on “, rendering “the Beatitudes and Works of Mercy concrete?” Because “the way of Jesus – the Pope concluded – is full of consolations, glory, and full of the cross. But always with a peaceful soul.” “Let us remain with a question today, but let us ask it, even for five minute… How am I in this Christian walk? Still, wrong, errant, stopping in front of the things I like or am I walking along Jesus’s ‘I am the way’? Let us ask the Holy Spirit to teach us to walk well, always! And when we get tired, a bit of rest, then on again. Let us ask this grace.”