Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Another Papal Homily Head-Scratcher

Yesterday, during a homily, Pope Francis had some things to say about humility and salvation.  Unfortunately I see only the excerpts as published by the Catholic News Agency.  The puzzling statement is this: "Jesus tells us: ‘if you do not put yourself on the margins, if you don’t feel what it is to be an outcast, you will not obtain salvation.'"  Biblical citation, please?

What is this with "margins" and "feel what it's like to be an outcast"?  I thought the idea was to recognize that I'm a sinner in constant need of His mercy, to repent of my sins and to obey His will.  Now maybe that does entail "feeling what it's like to be an outcast", but I think at best that speaks of an inappropriate reliance on superficial circumstances.  It shouldn't matter what I feel, one way or the other.  God's law is objective - that is, having no basis in the caprices of human emotions and experiences.  Oftentimes being a serious Christian will put us on the outskirts of contemporary culture, as Cardinal Burke aptly noticed, but again that's a superficial side-effect (at most) to following Jesus Christ, not a key indicator of sanctity.  For instance, I would imagine that a cold-blooded mass-murderer might feel him/herself to be a bit of an outcast; but no one with two working brain cells would opine that his/her "outcast" status is any indication that he/she is on the road to salvation - no, quite the opposite!

I'd love to see the entire homily, if a complete text is available.


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