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untitledAt his usual Wednesday mid-day talk from the Vatican window yesterday Pope Francis told those assembled in St. Peter's Square below:

"If you don't feel in need of God's mercy and don't think we are sinners, it's better not to go to Mass."

Something for me to reflect on for the evening.


I can't imagine you as such an egregious sinner! :o)
I'm afraid I never have difficulty finding failures.
The problem is with the concept of sin.
If sin is seen as turning away from god and the goodness of his world then really few are sinners.
A different better word is needed. Do we appreciate goodness -whether we want to call it god or not? Do we appreciate our world? And do we do as much as we can to foster goodness?
Being tired and cranky and maybe a tad less loving to our family is not sin. It is the reality of the human condition.

My understanding of the Eucharist is that it is the nourishment of the body of Christ which is made of all his baptized members.
We all need nourishment.
Come to me all you who hunger and thirst
Sorry, Francis. I don't think we are sinners. But is there one among us who does not hunger and thirst?
When Catholics 'mass' it is a coming together to recognise our weakness and our need to share and our need for help from one another and from God. We so often fail - in deliberate ways - to live up to even human standards. We can so often be caught up in ourselves and in our own importance.
I like that double use of the word "mass". - very clever
Trying to get people past the idea of fulfilling their "sunday obligation" to understanding a coming together of the people of god was a constant struggle.
"If sin is seen as turning away from god and the goodness of his world then really few are sinners."

Well, if that's your view, you probably want to avoid the services of the Church which maintains very much otherwise.
I'm not sure what church you mean.
I have been to some very dour protestant services and some very joyful catholic ones.
I haven't been to any church recently except to a funeral and that was a very positive response to the man's life.
What does that matter? The purpose of any Christian church is to minister to sinners. Since those that are sick need a physician, not those who are well.
Sorry But I disagree
The concept of "sinner" is sooo left over from the reformation.
I prefer the concept of the children of god being nourished by a loving parent.
We gather around his table to hear the good news that we are loved.
Too too many people experience the lack of love. So much pain and sorrow in the world.
Better to gather at the Feast of God and be strengthened to meet the adversity than beat one's breast and wallow in one's limitations and inadequacies.
Guilt gets a person only so far. Better to walk in the sun rather than in perpetual shadow.

If one is "well" why bother ?
Do we limit God's love only to those who seem in dire circumstances?
Are those who are happy and living a good life to be excluded?
Why focus on "illness"?
You disagree with not with the reformation but with Christianity. Given that its founder said:

"Jesus said to them in reply, 'Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do. I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.' "
Many things are credited to Jesus.
And can be translated many ways.
Those who prefer to think of themselves or others as sinners certainly may do so

I like the Emmaus story
"And they knew him in the breaking of the bread"
And how does that contradict the notion that people are sinners?

And if you're going to rule out the only record of what he said, why drag him in at all?

Edited at 2014-02-14 19:03 (UTC)
It's a record that the church made of teaching ascribed to Jesus.
There were many collections of teachings.
What we have as the New Testament are those decided on to be "official" in the 4th century.

Translation has a long history.

There are many ways to express the human condition.
What is sure is that Jesus is a way to live a meaningful life.
It really doesn't matter what words are used.
We all search for a meaningful life.

Sinner - searcher - follower
Why "drag hin in" ?
Because there is something in the words collected that can have meaning, give meaning, to those who need it.
Of course it matters. If Jesus said, "If any one comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple," there's a certain responsibility inherent to it.
Dianne believes she is a sinner and in need of God's mercy, and she feels the need and desire to go to Mass. But she can't get there unless i go with her. So i go with her. No, i don't take the Eucharist, but i am present physically, often emotionally, and sometimes spiritually. Yes, i do believe in the need for mercy, but i also believe that it already is freely given to all of us by the Great Giver.

Edited at 2014-02-13 19:06 (UTC)
What a wonderful charitable person you are. The Lord himself is with you as you exercise one of the great Christian acts of mercy. Tell your good friend that I am remembering you both in my prayers (weak as they may be).
Good point
Although I see where he is coming from, it sounds like a better excuse to go to me.
Hugs, Jon