(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis said salvation can’t be bought or sold but is a gift that requires a humble heart like that of Mary. The qualities needed for salvation were the focus of his homily at Tuesday’s Mass in the Santa Marta residence, taking place on the Solemnity of the Annunciation.
The Pope recalled how pride of heart led Adam and Eve to disobey God but said this knot of disobedience was then loosened by Mary with her act of obedience.
“The Lord is walking alongside his people. And why does he walk alongside them with so much tenderness? It’s to soften our hearts. He explicitly says this, ‘I will make your heart of stone become a heart of flesh.’ It’s to soften our hearts to receive a promise he made in Heaven. Sin entered among mankind but for another man comes salvation. And this very long road will help all of us to have a more human heart, closer to God, not so proud, not so self-sufficient.”
Pope Francis reflected on how today’s liturgy speaks to us about the stages along this road of recovery, how it speaks to us about obedience and meekness regarding the Word of God.
“Salvation cannot be bought or sold: it’s a gift. It’s given to us, it’s free. We can’t be saved through ourselves: Salvation is a totally free gift. It’s not bought through the blood of bulls or goats: it can’t be bought. But in order to receive this salvation, we need a humble heart, a meek heart, an obedient heart. Like that of Mary. And the model for this road towards salvation is the same God, his Son, who didn’t consider being equal to God an advantage which cannot be abandoned. Paul said this.”
The Pope went on to stress the need for a road of humility and humiliation, walking along it in God’s presence with “obedience and meekness in our hearts.”
“Today we can embrace our Father who, thanks to the blood of his Son, became like one of us in order to save us. This is the God who is waiting for us every day …. Let’s look at the icon of Eve and Adam, let’s look at the icon of Mary and Jesus. Let’s look at the road of history with God who walks alongside his people. And let’s say: ‘Thank you. Thank you Lord because today you told us that you have given us salvation.’ Today is a day to give thanks to the Lord.”
Text from Vatican Radio website