Vatican City, Feb 28, 2017 / 04:07 pm (CNA).- God pours out all of Himself on His people, said Pope Francis on Tuesday, explaining that God gives everything to those who surrender everything.
“Here is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel, who will not receive a hundred times more, now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come,” said the Pope, repeating the words of the Gospel of Mark in his daily homily.
Speaking to those gathered at Casa Santa Marta, the Pope reflected on the rich, young man in the Gospel who leaves saddened after Jesus asks him to give away all his possessions. He said the man wanted to follow Jesus, but chose money as a master above God.
Peter then asks Jesus what will happen to himself and the disciples who have given up everything, and the Pope said “it’s almost as if Peter is passing Jesus the bill.” But Jesus ensures that God’s gift will be overflowing – whoever gives everything will receive everything, because it is impossible for God to give less than everything.
Pope Francis said that when God gives everything, He gives fully of himself. The fullness emptied out on the cross, he explained, is the fullness of God. He said this fullness emptied out is the gift of God, but this Christian way of receiving is not an easy path.
Reiterating the words in Sirach, the Pope offered directions to following the Christian way: “pay homage to the Lord, and do not spare your freewill gifts. With each contribution show a cheerful countenance, and pay your tithes in a spirit of joy. Give to the Most High as he has given to you, generously, according to your means.”
Happiness was removed from the face of the rich man in the Gospel, said the Pope, adding that the man had walked away glum and downtrodden because he was unable to receive the fullness of the cross.
In contrast, Pope Francis concluded, are the examples of the saints who prove their complete receptivity with faces and eyes full of happiness. He repeated the words of the Chilean saint Alberto Hurtado, and asked that we may all receive the grace to repeat “I’m happy, Lord, I’m happy,” even in the face of poverty and suffering.