Youthful, Searching Heart Fans Flame of Love.............
Pope Francis invited the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday to have a youthful, searching heart, one full of desire for life and happiness.
It is this restless heart, he said, which allows one to come to Jesus. Reflecting on the call of the first disciples, the Pope said, “Jesus appears in the Gospels as an expert on the human heart.” When two young men “with healthily restless” hearts come seeking the day after Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan, Jesus inflames their hearts.
“From here there comes that question of His that attempts to bring out the desire for life and happiness, which every young person carries within: ‘What are you seeking?’”, he said.
Pope Francis said young people “who seek nothing are not young, they are pensioners, they have aged before their time.” Turning to the theme of vocations, the Holy Father said the first disciples found their call in meeting Jesus. He said this encounter ignited a flame in their hearts, which transformed them immediately into missionaries. Their story, the Pope said, reminds us of our own vocation.
“This page of the Gospel tells us that the first indicator is the joy of the encounter with Jesus. Marriage, consecrated life, priesthood: every true vocation begins with an encounter with Jesus that gives us a new joy and hope; and it leads us, even through hardships and difficulties, to an ever fuller encounter with Him – it grows greater, that encounter –and to the fullness of joy.”
He advised the faithful to be like the Virgin Mary, who “keeps the flame of her love” for Jesus. “Certainly, there are trials in life, there are moments when we need to keep going despite the cold and the counter winds, despite much bitterness. But Christians know the road that carries them to that sacred fire that has inflamed them once and for all.”
Finally, Pope Francis presented the faithful with a way to keep the flame of love alive in their hearts. “Here, therefore, is a fundamental dynamic of Christian life: remembering Jesus… Remember Jesus, the fire of love with which one day we conceived of our life as a plan for good, and to revive our hope with this flame.”