Recently, Pope Francis was speaking in a homily of the graces of the Second Vatican Council 60 years later. The pope reaffirmed how the family of God, in all its diversity, is invited to find its proper direction on the journey of faith.
This direction, he tells us, starts with love: love of Jesus, love of one another and love of the Church. He invites us to give up partisanship and a divisive stance and embrace the virtues of humility and simplicity.
"How often, in the wake of the council, did Christians prefer to choose sides in the Church… How many times did they prefer to cheer on their own party rather than being servants of all? To be progressive or conservative rather than being brothers and sisters? To be on the 'right' or 'left,' rather than with Jesus… That is not how the Lord wants us to be. We are his sheep, his flock, and we can only be so together and as one." – Pope Francis, St. Peter's Basilica, October 11, 2022
This attitude of humility and simplicity will help us to accept those who seem radically different from us and help us to listen intently to their opinions, searching for common ground and a way forward in peace. This, Pope Francis, told us is the path of true joy.
Pope Francis ended his homily with this prayer which we would do well to hold in our hearts going forward on this journey as the people of God:
"We thank you, Lord, for the gift of the council. You who love us, free us from the presumption of self-sufficiency and from the spirit of worldly criticism. Prevent us from excluding ourselves from unity. You who lovingly feed us, lead us forth from the shadows of self-absorption. You who desire that we be a united flock, save us from the forms of polarization and the 'isms” that are the devil’s handiwork. And we, your church, with Peter and like Peter, now say to you: 'Lord, you know everything; you know that we love you'." (cf. Jn 21:17).
To read Pope Francis' full homily, you can click here.
Sister Rosemary Fry