Pope Francis: Don't be 'parked' Christians

In his reflections on the day's readings, during morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta on Monday, Pope Francis said that the Lord calls us to true joy. True Christians are able to take risks, he said. They are not "parked" but after receiving grace, they keep moving forward, seeking joy.

Turning to how God wants us to be joyful, the Pontiff asked, what is the great miracle the Lord accomplishes. The first reading, taken from the book of the Prophet Isaiah, he noted, explains this. "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth… be glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create."

The Lord attracts our desire to the joy of being with Him: "When the Lord passes into our life and performs a miracle in each of us, and each of us knows what the Lord has done in our life, it does not end there: this is the invitation to go forward, to continue on the journey, 'seeking the face of God,' the Psalm says; seeking this joy."

Pope Francis noted that many Christians put their lives in 'parking mode.'

Miracles, the Jesuit Pontiff noted, are only the beginning. The Pontiff asked what Jesus would think of so many Christians who stay put after the first grace they have received, who do not continue on the journey.

He compared them to someone who would go to a restaurant and be content with an appetizer, and then return home, not realizing that the main course would be even better.

"Because there are so many Christians who are stopped, who don't continue on the journey; Christians who have run aground on the concerns of daily life … they don't grow, they remain small. Parked Christians: they've parked. Caged Christians who don't know how to fly with the dream to this beautiful thing to which the Lord calls us."

A true Christian, the Pope stressed, takes risks. He encouraged all faithful to ask themselves: "What do I really desire?" Do I really desire God, and seek to be with Him? "Or am I afraid? Am I mediocre?" What is the measure of my desire? Am I satisfied with the appetizer, or do I desire the banquet that is set before me?

Pope Francis concluded, saying: "The true Christian takes risks, he goes out of his comfort zone."

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