By Deborah Castellano Lubov

Aug 21 2023

During his Sunday Angelus address, Pope Francis insists that Jesus cannot resist us when we insistently turn to Him in prayer, and calls for us to become concrete in our faith by cherishing our personal relationship with Christ.

Concreteness of faith consists of our personal relationship with the Lord, and in realizing He cannot resist us when we pray to Him, Pope Francis emphasized during his Angelus address, Sunday at noon.

Addressing the thousands of faithful in a scorching St. Peter’s Square, the Pope said that God is moved by when we turn to Him and trust in Him, even when we can be “a bit pushy” with our petitions.

Before reciting the midday prayer, the Holy Father’s address recalled this Sunday’s Gospel reading according to St. Matthew, of Jesus encountering a Canaanite woman outside the territory of Israel, who, so insistently and with such great faith, called on the Lord to heal her daughter, who was tormented by a demon.

Calling her out on her tenacious faith, the Lord told her, ‘Be it done for you as you desire.’

Her daughter was healed instantly.

Jesus cannot resist our prayers

The Pope said he found Jesus’ change in behavior interesting. Upon hearing the woman’s bold prayer and being faced with her concrete case, He becomes even more sympathetic and compassionate.

“This is what God is like. He is love.”

“The one who loves,” the Pope said, “does not remain rigid in their own positions, but allows him or herself to be moved and touched. He or she knows how to change their plans.”

And we Christians, Pope Francis insisted, are to imitate Christ.

Frank dialogue with Christ

The Holy Father examined the substance of the woman’s faith.

“She does not have a wealth of concepts but of deeds,” he said. The Canaanite woman, he recalled, “drew near, prostrated herself, insisted, took part in a frank dialogue with Jesus, and overcame every obstacle, just to speak with Him.”

“This,” Pope Francis observed, “is the concreteness of faith, which is not a religious label, but is a personal relationship with the Lord.”

This woman’s faith, he said, “is not fraught with theological gallantry, but with insistence; not with words, but with prayer.” God, the Pope said, “does not resist when He is prayed to.”

“This is why He said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.’”

‘What is my faith like?’

In light of all this, the Holy Father said, we ought to ask ourselves a few questions.

Keeping in mind this change in Jesus, he suggested, we ponder: “Am I capable of changing opinion? Do I know how to be understanding and compassionate, or do I remain rigid in my position?”

He encouraged the faithful to ask themselves if there is some rigidity in their hearts.

And turning to the woman’s faith, he suggested that we ask: “What is my faith like? Do I stop at concepts and words, or is it truly lived with prayer and deeds? Do I know how to dialogue with the Lord? Am I insistent with Him? Or am I content to recite beautiful formulas?”

Pope Francis concluded by praying that Our Lady might make us “open to what is good” and “concrete in the faith.” – Vatican News