Francis Effect

October 4, 2015 | HNMWebmaster | Blessings, Faith, Family, Father Salvador, Homilies, Hope, Joy, Love, Ordinary Time, St. Mark

27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
October 4, 2015 – Year B

Readings: Gn 2:18-24 / Psalm 128 / Heb 2:9-11 / Mk 10:2-16
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor

For the past 7 days, up until yesterday, whenever I’ve turned on the radio in my car, talk radio hosts have still been talking about Pope Francis. Usually, they are discussing the so-called “Francis Effect.” Maria Shriver wrote that covering Pope Francis’ visit to America has got to be the highlight of her career as a journalist. She said, “I didn’t get to interview Pope Francis; I didn’t even get to meet him. But it didn’t actually matter because his words met my heart and ignited my spirit. I felt them deep in my soul.”

My dear brothers and sisters, I believe that this is the feeling experienced by millions of people around the world who had the wonderful opportunity to listen to the Holy Father’s message. Today, which is the first day of the Synod of the Family in Rome, he is asking for our prayers. The world knows that the family is very close to the heart of Pope Francis. When he spoke to the participants of the World Meeting of Families earlier in Philadelphia, he went off the script of his prepared remarks. Speaking from his heart, he highlighted the importance of the family. He said that all the love and beauty God has in Himself, He gives to the family. He added, “Do you know what God loves most? To knock on the door of families, and find families who love each other, who bring up their children to grow, and help them move forward. To create and develop a society with truth, goodness and beauty.”

Pope Francis must surely have had in mind that all these are byproducts of applying Jesus’ teachings in the sacred scriptures. In today’s Gospel, repeating the verse from the Book of Genesis, Jesus said, “A man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife. And the two shall become one flesh. “And our Holy Mother Church reminds us repeatedly that, as long as husbands and wives continue to nourish their relationship as one flesh, an abundance of God’s Grace will continue to rain upon them and their families.

As Pope Francis said, families have difficulties, but the family is also the factory of hope. Today, as we celebrate the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi with all the members of God’s Family here at Holy Name of Mary, let us remind ourselves of St. Francis’ prayers, when he said, “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith. Where there is despair, hope.