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Lent with Pope Francis: God's Dream for Us

Posted by Diane M. Houdek on 3/18/18 12:00 AM

Pope Francis smiles during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican March 22. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

A Word from Pope Francis

We are the dream of God who, truly in love, wants to change our life through love. He only asks us to have the faith to let Him do so. We can only cry for joy before a God who re-creates us. God thinks about each one of us, loves us, dreams of us, dreams of the joy that He will rejoice with us. Have you ever thought, “The Lord dreams about me, he thinks about me, I am in the mind, in the heart of the Lord”? Have you ever thought, “The Lord is capable of changing my life”?

The Lord is capable of changing us, through love: He is in love with us. What do I have to do? The answer is simple: “Believe. Believe that the Lord can change me.”

Faith is giving space to this love of God; it is making room for the power of God, for the power of One who loves me, who is in love with me and who wants this joy with me. This is faith. This is believing: it is making room for the Lord to come and change me.

 

Taking the Word to Heart

Read: Isaiah 65:17–21; John 4:43–54 

In today’s Gospel, a royal official asks Jesus to heal his son. Jesus’s first response is a bit defensive: “Unless you people see signs and wonders you will not believe.” But the royal official reminds him that this isn’t about religious disputes or even the curiosity and amazement of the crowds. This is a simple human need, born of the love of a father for his son and the desperation of a serious illness. The royal official has only one thought in mind: His son is ill and he believes this man can heal him. His directness reminds Jesus of what’s essential: life, healing, love.

Too often we live our lives and our faith as a transaction, an exchange of good deeds for God’s reward, of work done for payment, of actions and reactions. Pope Francis reminds us that our faith is rather a love affair, a dream, a joyful, passionate embrace that doesn’t stop to ask about worth or merit or judgment. When we are caught up in the ecstasy of love, we lose our tendency to stand outside ourselves and consider each action, each thought. When we can bring this to our faith life, we discover the wonderful things God has in mind for us, for our loved ones, for our future.

 

Bringing the Word to Life

Do something extravagantly loving for someone close to you during this season of Lent. As you do it, let yourself believe that this is the kind of thing God wants to do for you, is doing for you. Before you fall asleep tonight, think of some change you long to see in your life. Believe that God will dream that change into being for you.

 

Pope Francis Prays

The Lord can change us,
he wants to change us,
he loves to change us.
And this he does through love.
He only asks us for our faith:
to give space to his love
so it may act and bring about a change of life in us.


Hope of Lent Franciscan Media book

Topics: Pope Francis, Lent