In his homily during the Mass for the Opening of the XXI General Assembly of Caritas Internationalis Pope Francis spoke of “three essential elements for the Church ‘on its way’: the humility of listening, the charism of togetherness, the courage of renunciation.”
It is reported that he began with the “courage renunciation,” calling for a letting go of our own “human convictions and traditions” in order to find the best way of proclaiming the Gospel. He emphasized the importance of reforming ourselves, first of all – and not a cosmetic reform, but a “conversion of the heart which happens through renunciation.”
We can do this, he said, beginning with the “humility of listening”, allowing the voices of all, and especially the least among us, to be heard. The Pope said that in order to really hear others, we must be disinterested in ourselves, willing to listen to and accept other people’s ideas. We must also “listen to life,” that is, look at reality as it is, rather than focusing solely on ideas.
“From the humility of listening to the courage of renunciation, it all passes through the “charism of togetherness,” Pope Francis said. At the meeting in Jerusalem, the early Church was gathered around St Peter, through charity “which does not create uniformity, but communion.” Although there were strong personalities present, each with their own ideas, they worked together on account of “the strength of loving each other in the Lord.”
Finally, Pope Francis turned to the Gospel, where Jesus calls on His disciples to “Remain in my love.” We do this, the Pope said, especially by remaining close to Jesus, present in the Holy Eucharist and in the “many living tabernacles who are the poor.” Jesus, he said, asks us “to remain in Him, not in our own ideas.”
“Let us ask the Lord that He might free us from the cult of efficiency, from worldliness, from the subtle temptation of worshipping ourselves and our own prowess, of obsessive organisation,” Pope Francis said in conclusion. “Let us ask the grace of welcoming the way indicated by the Word of God: humility, communion, renunciation.”
( Pope Francis – Homily at the Opening of the XXI General Assembly of Caritas Internationalis, May 2019)