VATICAN CITY (CNS) — No one deserves faith and no one can buy it; faith is a gift that changes one’s life and allows people to recognize Jesus as the son of God with the power to forgive sins, Pope Francis said at his morning Mass.
Praise is the proof that one truly has faith and believes “that Jesus Christ is God in my life,” the pope said Jan. 15 during the Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
Jesus, he said, was sent “to save us from our sins, to save us and bring us to the father. He was sent for that, to give his life for our salvation.” However, the pope added that is “the most difficult point to understand.”
The Gospel for the day, Mark 2: 1-12, recounted Jesus’ healing of a paralytic in Capernaum and the tension that arose among those who followed Jesus when he told the ailing man that his sins were forgiven.
Many in the crowd had their hearts “open to faith,” but there were others, the pope said, who accepted Jesus as a healer but not his authority to forgive sins.
The day’s Gospel reading, the pope continued, is a call for Christians to ask themselves how strong their faith in Jesus is and to discern if their faith changes their lives and brings them closer to God.
“Faith is a gift. No one ‘deserves’ faith, no one can buy it; it is a gift,” he said. “Does my faith in Jesus Christ bring me to humble myself, to repentance, to the prayer that says: ‘Forgive me, Lord. You are God. You can forgive my sins?'”
Noting the crowd’s reaction after Jesus’ healing of the paralytic, Pope Francis said that is through praise that people prove their faith and belief that Jesus was sent to forgive sins.
“Praising is free. It is a feeling that is given by the Holy Spirit and brings you to say: ‘You are the only God,'” he said. “May the Lord make us grow in this faith in Jesus Christ, who forgives us, who offers a year of grace, and may this faith brings us to praise.”
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of 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.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
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 and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
PREVIOUS: The ‘smell of mercy’ still lingers after 800 years
NEXT: To forgive ISIS terrorists, or not?
Share this story