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Pope's Morning Homily: How to Get to Know Jesus
Francis Underlines Need for Prayer, Sacraments and Discipleship
VATICAN CITY, May 16, 2014 (Zenit.org) - Pope Francis has said studying Jesus is not enough to get to know him, we must also pray to him, celebrate him and imitate him.
This was the Pope's core message at Mass on Friday in the Santa Marta residence.
In his homily, the Pope reflected on the best way for us to get to know Jesus, describing it as the most important work in our lives. At the same time, he warned that studying or having ideas was not enough on its own to acquire that knowledge of Jesus.
"Ideas by themselves do not lead anywhere and those who pursue the path of their own ideas end up in a labyrinth from where they can't get out again! It's for this reason that heresies have existed from the very beginning of the Church. Heresies are this: trying to understand with our minds and with only our personal light who Jesus is. A great English writer wrote that a heresy is an idea that's gone crazy. That's right! When they are ideas by themselves they become crazy... This is not the right path!"
Pope Francis went on to explain that we need to open three doors in order to know Jesus.
"The first door is praying to Jesus. You must realize that studying without prayers is no use. We must pray to Jesus to get to know him better. The great theologians did their theology while kneeling. Pray to Jesus! By studying and praying we get a bit closer... But we'll never know Jesus without praying. Never! Never!
"The second door is celebrating Jesus," the Pope continued. "Prayer on its own is not enough, we need the joy of celebration. We must celebrate Jesus through his Sacraments, because these give us life, they give us strength, they nourish us, they comfort us, they forge an alliance with us, they give us a mission. Without celebrating the Sacraments, we'll never get to know Jesus. This is what the Church is all about: celebration.
"The third door," the Pope said, "is imitating Jesus. Take the Gospel, what did he do, how was his life, what did he tell us, what did he teach us and try to imitate him.
"Entering via these three doors," the Pope went on, "means entering into the mystery of Jesus and it's only in this way that we can get to know him and we mustn't be afraid to do this.
"During the day, today, we can think about how the door leading to prayer is proceeding in our life: but prayer from the heart is not like that of a parrot! How is prayer of the heart? How is the Christian celebration in my life proceeding? And how is the imitation of Jesus in my life proceeding? How must I imitate him? Do you really not remember! The reason is because the Book of the Gospel is full of dust as it's never opened! Take the Book of the Gospel, open it and you will discover how to imitate Jesus! Let's think about how these three doors are positioned in our life and this will be of benefit to everybody."
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