By Carol Glatz | Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY -- True Christians take risks to constantly seek out Christ, because they know that receiving God's grace is just the beginning of a lifelong journey toward real joy, Pope Francis said.
Settling and being content with the first grace one receives from God is like filling up on the appetizer and leaving the restaurant unaware that the best was yet to come, he said in his homily March 12 at morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
"There are lots of stationary Christians, who do not walk, bogged down by everyday things," he said. They are good people, he said, "but they do not grow, they stay small."
They are like "parked Christians -- they park themselves. Caged Christians who do not know how to fly with the dream of this beautiful thing the Lord calls us to," he said.
The pope reflected on the day's Gospel reading from St. John in which a royal official asked Jesus to heal his dying son. The pope said that while Jesus performs the miracle, he seems impatient that "unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe," reads the verse.
The miracle led the royal official and his household to believe in Jesus; this should be not be the end, but rather the beginning of a constant journey seeking to find God, encounter him and be joyful with him, the pope said.
God is inviting everyone to keep going and seek the joy and delight of being with the Lord, as can be seen in the day's first reading from the prophet Isaiah, the pope said.
"Do I seek the Lord this way? Or am I afraid? Am I mediocre? What is the measure of my longing? The antipasto or the whole banquet?" he asked.
He asked that people maintain that yearning for God and not get too comfy, but "go forward a bit, take risks. The true Christian takes risks and leaves one's comfort zone."