VATICAN CITY (CNS) — A disciple of Christ must venture out, spread the Gospel, help others and do so with no strings attached, Pope Francis said at his morning Mass.
“A disciple who doesn’t serve others is not Christian. The disciple must do what Jesus preached” in the Beatitudes and in Matthew 25, which includes feeding the hungry and clothing the naked, he said.
“We must do what Jesus said we have to do because he is there” in the hungry, the imprisoned, the sick and the other, the pope said June 11 during the Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
The disciple of Christ is called to do three things, he said: journey into the world bringing the Gospel message of salvation to everyone; serve others in need; and remember that “without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.”
Salvation is God’s gift of grace, he said. “None of us has purchased salvation, none of us deserves it,” but it was given freely in Jesus Christ’s sacrifice.
“It’s sad” when individuals, parishes, dioceses or religious orders “forget about gift because behind this and underlying this there is the deceptive (presumption) that salvation comes from wealth, from human power,” he said, according to Vatican Radio.
Jesus sends his disciples on a journey as messengers and servants; they must not “remain stationary” and keep God’s gift to themselves, he said.
But the exterior journey of reaching out to others must always be accompanied by an inner journey of seeking God, the pope said.
The disciple must “look for God every day, in prayer, in reflection” and the sacraments, otherwise, “the Gospel he brings to others will be a Gospel that is weak, watered down, without strength.”
“Our hope is in Jesus Christ,” who sends his disciples out to share, serve and sacrifice as he did, the pope said.
But “when one’s hope lies in one’s own comfort during the journey or hope lies in the selfishness of seeking things for oneself and not for serving others or when hope lies in wealth or in small worldly securities, all of this collapses. The Lord himself makes it collapse,” the pope said.