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Be ready for 'God of surprises,' says Pope

Pope Francis said in his homily at daily Mass this morning in the St. Martha Residence Chapel in the Vatican that the spirit of Christian freedom requires what he called being docile and willing to be open to God's surprises. “The Word of God is alive and so comes and says what he wants to say: not what I expect it to say, or what I hope it says,” the Pope said, urging the congregation to be ready to have an attitude of openness to God's Word. “The Gospel is newness. Revelation is newness. Our God is a God that always makes things new and asks from us this docility to his newness,” the Pontiff said.

Pope Francis has said that believers should be ready for God's surprises.
Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images

“Jesus is clear in this, He is very clear: new wine into new wineskins,” Francis said, emphasizing the Gospel for today, “God brings the wine, but it must be received with this openness to newness,” the Pope continued, “this openness is called docility.”

“Am I docile to the Word of God or do I always do what I believe to be the Word of God? Or do I pass the Word of God through a still and at the end it’s something other than what God wants to do?” Doing so, Francis observed, can make us “end up like a piece of new cloth on an old garment, and the tear gets worse,” saying “ to conform to the Word of God in order to receive it requires a whole ascetic attitude. When I want to take electricity from the electrical source, if the appliance that I have does not work, I seek an adaptor,” the Pope preached. “We should always try to adapt ourselves, adapt ourselves to this newness of the Word of God, to be open to the newness.”

Pointing out that King Saul had disobeyed God with regards to what to do with battle booty reasoned that it could be sacrificed rather than destroyed as God commanded showed that “Saul did not obey the Word of God” and was not docile to the Word of God. “Rebellion, not obeying the Word of God, is a sin of divination," the Pontiff said. Obstinacy, the stubbornness of doing that which you want and not what God wants, is the sin of idolatry.”

“Christian freedom and Christian obedience are docile to the Word of God,” Francis preached, “it is having this courage to become new wineskins, for this new wine that comes continuously it is the courage of always discerning: discerning, I mean, not relativizing. Always discern what the Spirit does in my heart, what the Spirit wants in my heart, where the Spirit leads me in my heart. And obeying. Discern and obey.”

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