VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Joy is the sign of a true Christian who has embarked on a path of giving generously to those in need, even when enduring suffering and persecution, Pope Francis said.
Christians are called to “enter into another way of thinking, another way of acting” exemplified by Jesus who “gave everything of himself because fullness — the fullness of God — is a fullness poured out on the cross,” the pope said Feb. 28 during morning Mass at Domus Sanctae Marthae.
“This is the style of the Christian: to seek this fullness, to receive this fullness that has been poured out and to follow along that path. It isn’t easy,” he said.
The pope reflected on the day’s Gospel reading, which recounts Jesus’ assurance to Peter and the disciples of their reward after they witnessed a rich young man leaving sadly after choosing riches over following Christ.
Peter, the pope said, “didn’t know what to say: ‘Yes, that one left, but what about us?’ Jesus’ answer is clear: ‘There is no one who has left everything who will not receive everything.'”
While he assures his disciples that those who have given up everything for the sake of the Gospel will be rewarded a hundredfold, the pope noted, Jesus also says that those who follow him will endure persecution.
The day’s first reading from the book of Sirach (35:1-12), he added, is an invitation for Christians to pay homage to the Lord with “a generous spirit and a cheerful countenance.”
“The sign that we are following this path of everything and nothing, of fullness poured out, is joy,” the pope said.
Pope Francis recalled the example of St. Alberto Hurtado, a Chilean Jesuit priest who worked tirelessly for the poor yet “was persecuted” and endured “so many sufferings.”
“When he was at that point — destroyed on the cross — he would say: ‘Contento, Senor, contento’ (‘Happy, Lord, happy’). May he teach us to go on this path, may he give us the grace of following this path, which is a bit difficult, of everything and nothing, of the fullness of Jesus Christ poured out and to always say, above all in difficulty: ‘Happy, Lord, happy,'” the pope said.
In a time to build, CatholicPhilly.com connects people and communities
As society emerges from the loss and separation of the pandemic, 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 join in 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.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103