VATICAN CITY (CNS) — To truly know Jesus, reading the Bible and studying the catechism are not enough, Pope Francis said in a morning homily.

Prayer, silent adoration and recognizing one’s sinfulness also are needed to grasp the mystery of Christ and the immensity of his love, the pope said in his homily during Mass at Domus Sanctae Marthae Oct. 20.

How is it possible to comprehend the breadth and depth of Christ’s love, which surpasses all knowledge? the pope asked.


“Christ is present in the Gospel (so) by reading the Gospel we know Christ,” he said, and people learn more about who Christ is by attending religious education classes.

“But this isn’t enough,” he said. It’s also necessary to immerse oneself in prayer, on one’s knees, invoking the Holy Spirit for Christ to dwell in one’s heart.

Adoration is also necessary, he said, adding that this practice of silently sitting before the Lord, in adoration of his lordship and mystery, is perhaps not very well known or followed by many people.

Lastly, the pope said, “to know Christ, it is necessary to have self-awareness, that is, to be in the habit of accusing oneself” of being a sinner.

“You cannot adore (Christ) without accusing yourself, ” he said. All these things are needed, he said, in order to enter into the bottomless sea and endless ocean of God’s mystery.