VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Christians must pass on the faith by giving witness through their example and not by persuading others to choose sides, Pope Francis said.
“Transmitting the faith isn’t proselytism; it is another thing, it is greater. It isn’t looking for people who support this soccer team, this club, this cultural center. This is good, but for faith, proselytism doesn’t work,” the pope said in his homily May 3 during morning Mass at the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
Reflecting on the day’s first reading, in which St. Paul reminds the community of Corinth to “hold fast to the word I have preached to you,” the pope said that the transmission of faith isn’t simply “giving information” to others but is passing on the faith one has received.
Faith is also passed on through generations of grandmothers, mothers and even caretakers who not only do so through words, but with “caresses” and with “tenderness,” he said.
Citing his predecessor, retired Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis emphasized that faith in others “grows by attraction, by giving witness” to one’s life which in turn “stokes curiosity in the hearts of others.”
“When this coherence in life is seen in what we say, there is always curiosity: ‘Why do I live this way? Why don’t I live a life of service for others?’ And that curiosity is the seed that is taken by the Holy Spirit and he carries it forward,” the pope said.
Help us keep you informed -- CatholicPhilly.com can't do it without youDuring CatholicPhilly.com's fall donation campaign, you have a way to help us deliver the kind of news you need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live. Every household's costs keep rising, and we're no different. We make sure your dollars in any amount go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month. Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can -- a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Or by credit card here: