MEMORY, PROPHECY, AND HOPE: THE KEYWORDS OF TODAY’S HOMILY AT ST. MARTHA’S HOUSE Pope Francis has commented on the Gospel parable of the murderous tenants

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Pope Francis has condensed the homily of today’s morning Mass at St. Martha’s House it in the following three words, “memory-prophecy-hope”. In spiritual life, overconfidence in laws – Pope Francis warns the faithful, commenting on the readings of the day – can stifle the value of memory and the dynamism of the Spirit. In today’s Gospel passage about the murderous tenants, Jesus tries in vain to demonstrate this statement to scribes and Pharisees, who would like to silence him. A parable that culminated in the assassination of the only son of the owner, an action that the farmers wrongly consider to be a possibility to gain the whole inheritance.

Killing the servants and the son – an image of the Bible prophets and Christ – shows, according to Francis, the image of “a nation that is closed in itself, that does not open to the promises of God, does not expect the promises of God. A people without memory, without prophecy, and without hope”. The heads of the people, in particular, are interested in building a wall of laws, “a closed legal system”, nothing else: “They are not interested in memory. The prophecy: prophets would better not come. And hope? Well, everyone will see it. This is the system through which they legitimate: scribes, theologians who always walk the way of case studies and do not give freedom to the Holy Spirit; They do not recognize God’s gift, the gift of the Spirit, they cage the Spirit, because they do not allow prophecy in hope”.

After all, the Pope recognizes, “Jesus himself was tempted to lose memory of his mission, not to make room for the prophecy, and to prefer security instead of hope,” referring to the three temptations Christos suffered in the desert. Therefore, Francis observed, “To this people Jesus, because he knew temptation in Himself, reproaches: ‘You traverse half the world to have one proselyte, and when you find him, you make him a slave.’ This people thus organized, this Church so organized, makes slaves – and so it is understandable how Paul reacts when he speaks of slavery to the law and of the liberty that grace gives: a people is free, a Church is free, when it has memory, when it makes room for prophets, when it does not lose hope”.

The well-organized vineyard, the Pope goes on, is “the image of God’s people, the image of the Church and also the image of our soul”. The Father will always take care of it with “so much love and tenderness.” To rebel against him means to “lose the memory of the gift” received from God, whereas “to remember and make no mistakes along the way”, it is important “return always to one roots.” “Do I remember the miracles the Lord has worked in my life? – Bergoglio wonders – Do I remember the gifts of the Lord? Am I able to open the hearts of the prophets, that is, of those people who say ‘this is wrong, you have to go over there; go ahead, take the risk’? That is what prophets do… Am I open to that thing or afraid of it, preferring to lock myself in the cage of the law?” “Finally: do I have hope in God’s promises, such as had our father Abraham, who left his home without knowing where he was going, only because he hoped in God? It will do us well to ask ourselves these three questions”, the Pope has concluded his homily.

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