At the closing Mass for the Synod Pope Francis beatified Paul VI
October 20, 2014
During the Mass in Saint Peter’s Square, the Holy Father beatified his predecessor, Pope Paul VI, whom he described as a “great Pope,” a “courageous Christian” and a “tireless apostle.”
In his homily, Pope Francis focused on Christ’s words from the Gospel: Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” This, he said, “is a striking phrase which the Lord has bequeathed to all those who experience qualms of conscience, particularly when their comfort, their wealth, their prestige, their power and their reputation are in question.”
In particular, to “render to God the things that are God’s” calls for “acknowledging that God alone is the Lord of mankind, that there is no other. This is the perennial newness to be discovered each day, and it requires mastering the fear which we often feel at God’s surprises.” It means “being docile to His will, devoting our lives to Him and working for His Kingdom of mercy, love, and peace.”
Pope Francis then recalled the experience of the Synod, a word which means “journeying together.” Indeed, he said, “pastors and lay people from every part of the world have come to Rome, bringing the voice of their particular Churches in order to help today’s families walk the path the Gospel with their gaze fixed on Jesus.” He gave thanks to God for the work of the Synod, and invoked the Holy Spirit to continue to guide the process as it moves toward the Ordinary Synod of Bishops set to take place in October next year.
The Holy Father noted that it was Pope Paul VI who established the Synod of Bishops. “When we look to this great Pope,” he said, “this courageous Christian, this tireless apostle, we cannot but say in the sight of God a word as simple as it is heartfelt and important: thanks! Thank you, our dear and beloved Pope Paul VI! Thank you for your humble and prophetic witness of love for Christ and his Church!”
Paul VI, Pope Francis said as he concluded his homily, “truly rendered to God what is God’s by devoting his whole life to the ‘sacred, solemn and grave task of continuing in history and extending on earth the mission of Christ,’ loving the Church and leading her so that she might be ‘a loving mother of the whole human family and at the same time the minister of its salvation.”