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Pope Francis shares how to get to know Jesus

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During the homily at Friday morning's Mass at Santa Marta, Pope Francis focused on how to come to know Jesus. According to Zenit News Agency, Pope Francis said that studying Jesus is not enough. We need to get to know Jesus by praying to Him, celebrating Him and imitating Him.

The Catholic Church teaches that there are different types of prayer. These include intercessory prayer, prayer of thanksgiving, prayer of adoration, prayer of petition, and prayer of glory and praise. Meditation and contemplation are also types of prayer. Each of these types of prayer are included in the Mass. Intercessory prayer is a prayer in which we pray for someone else or someone else prays for us. In the Mass, we ask the angels and saints to pray for us. We also pray for those in need of prayer. In the Lord's Prayer we ask for our needs to be met and we honor God. During the Eucharist we pray with adoration and prayers of glory and praise.

There are two parts to the Mass. It begins with the Liturgy of the Word followed by the Liturgy of the Eucharist. After the opening prayer the Glory to God is sung. This prayer is followed by the reading of the Old and New Testament. The scripture is reflected on by the presiding priest in the homily. The Liturgy of the Eucharist begins after the homily with the the Profession of Faith. This is followed by the offering of the gifts of wine and bread which are brought forward and presented to the priest. Prayers of intercession are said for the clergy and all those in need of prayer. The priest then begins praying the Eucharistic prayer. During this prayer the Hosanna, a song of glory is sung. The consecration of the bread and wine is complete when the priest prays, "Through him, and with him, and in him, O God, almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all glory and honor is yours, for ever and ever." The congregation responds by saying "Amen" which means, "We Believe".

After the consecration of the bread and wine, the congregation prays the Lord's Prayer and the Lamb of God. Before receiving the Eucharist, silent adoration takes place when the priest says, "Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world, Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb."

Pope Francis said that getting to know Jesus is the most important work in our lives. In his reflection he warned that studying or having ideas was not enough all by itself to acquire that knowledge of Jesus.

Pope Francis said, “Ideas by themselves do not lead anywhere and those who pursue the path of their own ideas end up in a labyrinth from where they can’t get out again! It’s for this reason that heresies have existed from the very beginning of the Church. Heresies are this: trying to understand with our minds and with only our personal light who Jesus is. A great English writer wrote that a heresy is an idea that’s gone crazy. That’s right! When they are ideas by themselves they become crazy… This is not the right path!”

In his homily, Pope Francis went on to explain that we need to open three doors in order to know Jesus.

“The first door is praying to Jesus. You must realize that studying without prayers is no use. We must pray to Jesus to get to know him better. The great theologians did their theology while kneeling. Pray to Jesus! By studying and praying we get a bit closer… But we’ll never know Jesus without praying. Never! Never!

“The second door is celebrating Jesus,” the Pope continued. “Prayer on its own is not enough, we need the joy of celebration. We must celebrate Jesus through his Sacraments, because these give us life, they give us strength, they nourish us, they comfort us, they forge an alliance with us, they give us a mission. Without celebrating the Sacraments, we’ll never get to know Jesus. This is what the Church is all about: celebration.

“The third door,” the Pope said, “is imitating Jesus. Take the Gospel, what did he do, how was his life, what did he tell us, what did he teach us and try to imitate him.

“Entering via these three doors,” the Pope went on, “means entering into the mystery of Jesus and it’s only in this way that we can get to know him and we mustn’t be afraid to do this.

“During the day, today, we can think about how the door leading to prayer is proceeding in our life: but prayer from the heart is not like that of a parrot! How is prayer of the heart? How is the Christian celebration in my life proceeding? And how is the imitation of Jesus in my life proceeding? How must I imitate him? Do you really not remember! The reason is because the Book of the Gospel is full of dust as it’s never opened! Take the Book of the Gospel, open it and you will discover how to imitate Jesus! Let’s think about how these three doors are positioned in our life and this will be of benefit to everybody.”

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