NCR reports that in a homily to hundreds of thousands in Philadelphia, Francis said that Jesus’ disciples were also afraid of new things – but that Jesus broke down all barriers to allow the Spirit to do its work.
“Jesus encountered hostility from people who did not accept what he said and did”. “For them, his openness to the honest and sincere faith of many men and women who were not part of God’s chosen people seemed intolerable,” said the pontiff.
“The disciples, for their part, acted in good faith,” he said. “But the temptation to be scandalized by the freedom of God, who sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous alike, bypassing bureaucracy, officialdom and inner circles, threaten(ed) the authenticity of faith.”
“For Jesus, the truly ‘intolerable’ scandal consists in everything that breaks down and destroys our trust in the working of the Spirit!” said Francis.
God, the pope said, “will not be outdone in generosity and he continues to scatter seeds.”
“It is this confidence that makes disciples encourage, support and nurture the good things happening all around them,” said Francis. “To raise doubts about the working of the Spirit, to give the impression that it cannot take place in those who are not ‘part of our group,’ who are not ‘like us,’ is a dangerous temptation.” He went on to say, “Not only does it block conversion to the faith; it is a perversion of faith!” he said.