I don’t know much about the new pope yet, Pope Francis, but I like his first homily which he gave to the Cardinals. Of course it really doesn’t matter what I think of the new pontiff, because if you believe in the process he was picked by a much higher authority than me.
As I get older, it seems like I understand more things than I used to. Maybe because as we get older we get wiser, or maybe I just take the time to understand things better than I used to. It’s funny how what we can learn when we take the time to listen. The interesting thing about the pope’s homily, is whether you believe in God or not, just as with the Bible, there are simple life lessons you can learn. For example he says:
Journeying: our life is a journey, and when we stop moving, things go wrong.
Isn’t this true? It doesn’t say “only if we believe in God or Jesus” , it simply say if we stop moving forward we stop. Whether in life, our jobs, our families or our faith, if we don’t keep moving, the journey will stop. I learned that long ago ad now I am moving again.
Same with this line:
When we are not walking, we stop moving. When we are not building on the stones, what happens? The same thing that happens to children on the beach when they build sandcastles: everything is swept away, there is no solidity.
Yes , when you read it in context he mentions we should build on Jesus, but he doesn’t need to say this, these lines alones are enough to learn from. We need to build our foundations on stones, on rock, something solid, whether it is Jesus or something else, it doesn’t matter, as long as it is solid. That is getting harder and harder to do these days, especially if you try to build on a stong moral foundation as our moral standards have been corroded so much.
Journeying, building, professing. But things are not so straightforward, because in journeying, building, professing, there can sometimes be jolts, movements that are not properly part of the journey: movements that pull us back.
There can sometimes be jolts in our lives, things that can pull us back, but we must keep moving, we can’t stay still. I know in my life I did stop, things pulled me back and I gave up for awhile, but finally I am on my way forward again. We all need to do this, keep moving, deal with the setbacks, the failures, shake them off and move. We can do this with the strong foundation we build.
“Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock; and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, becasue it had been founded on that rock.” Matthew 6:24 -26