Being a Christian is being a child of God
Just as God called Abraham by name to receive a promise, so does he continue to call each Christian personally to enter into relationship with him, Pope Francis said at his daily Mass June 25.
“We Christians have been called one-by-one: none of us is Christian by pure chance. No one,” he said during his homily at the chapel of Saint Martha House in the Vatican.
The call of each Christian is “by name, and with a promise: Go ahead, I am with you. I walk beside you.”
“God accompanies us, God calls us by name,” the Bishop of Rome assured his listeners.
The Mass was concelebrated by Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum and by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar general emeritus of the Diocese of Rome. It was attended by staff of Cor Unum, the Pontifical Academy for Life, and the Vatican Observatory.
Pope Francis explained that being a Christian is “a call of love and friendship” as well as a call “to become a child of God” and a “brother of Jesus.”
“To become fruitful in the transmission of this call to others, to become instruments of this call,” he added.
The Roman Pontiff reflected on the creation account, in which “God creates the stars, creates the plants, creates the animals, creates these, thats and the others” – all in the plural.
“But he creates man in the singular: one. God always speaks in the singular to us.”
Despite problems and difficult times, he said that Christians can always have the confidence that “the Lord has called me” and “has promised me.”
“The Lord is faithful, for he can never deny himself: he is faithfulness,” Pope Francis said.
He stressed the importance of, despite being sinners, “going forward with the Lord” and “recounting to others that the Lord is with us. That the Lord has chosen us and he does not leave us alone, not ever.”
“That certainty of the Christian will do us good.”
Pope Francis compared the anointing of baptism with Abraham's anointing as “the father of peoples.”
The first reading at the Mass told of the discussion between Abraham and his cousin Lot over the division of lands.
“When I read this, I think of the Middle East, and so I ask the Lord intensely that he give wisdom to all of us … to say let's not fight … the wisdom for peace,” the Pope said.
He concluded saying Abraham's response to God is a model for how each of us should walk the path of our lives.
“May the Lord give us, all of us, this desire to move forward, which Abraham had, in the midst of all his problems: to go forward with the confidence that he who called me, who promised me so many beautiful things, is with me.”
Originally published at Catholic News Agency on 26 June 2013. Used by permission, all other rights reserved.