Don't procrastinate on faith, live today, pope says

By Junno Arocho Esteves

CITY (CNS) — Christians are called to renew their faithfulness to God every
day and not procrastinate when it comes to their own personal conversion, Pope
Francis said.

A hardened
heart that sets aside “receiving the love of God” for another day,
may find that it is too late to enjoy the heavenly reward awaiting those whose
hearts are strong in the faith, the pope said Jan. 12 in his homily during Mass
at the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

“I say
this not to frighten you but simply to say that our life is a ‘today’ — today
or never,” he said. “Tomorrow will be an eternal ‘tomorrow’ with no
sunset, with the Lord forever if I am faithful to this ‘today.’ And the
question that I ask you is what the Holy Spirit asks: ‘How do I live this
‘today?'” he said.

The pope
centered his homily on the day’s reading from the Letter to the Hebrews in
which the author urges the Christian community to “encourage yourselves
daily while it is still ‘today,’ so that none of you may grow hardened by the
deceit of sin.”

“are at risk” of losing this “today,” the opportunity of
living life to its fullness and not ruined by sin, he said.

conversations with elderly people — particularly priests and nuns — the pope
said he was always struck by their requests to pray for their final moments
even if they led good lives in God’s service.

are you afraid?'” the pope said he would ask them. They would respond that
they are not afraid of death, but requested prayers that they would be able to
live to the very end of their lives “with a heart strong in faith and not
ruined by sin, by vices, by corruption.”

Pope Francis added, must reflect on the state of their own “today” and
ask whether their hearts are “open to the Lord” or closed and seduced
by sin like “the doctors of the law; all those people who persecuted (Jesus),
who put him to the test to condemn him and in the end, were able to do

Today may
well be a person’s last, he told those at Mass. It is healthy to ask, “How
is my ‘today’ in the presence of the Lord? And how is my heart? Is it open? Is
it strong in faith? Is it led by the love of the Lord?”

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Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.

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