VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The memory of the saving power of Christ is what gives life flavor and is a source of strength for Christians, Pope Francis said.

Christian memory is “the salt of life” and without it, “we cannot go forward,” the pope said in his homily June 7 during morning Mass at Domus Sanctae Marthae.

“When we find ‘forgetful’ Christians, we immediately see they have lost the flavor of Christian life and end up becoming people who fulfill the commandments without the wonder, without encountering Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the one we should encounter in life,” he said.


The pope centered his homily on the day’s first reading in which St. Paul reminds Timothy to “remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David: such is my Gospel, for which I am suffering.”

Memories, such as when “your life changed, when the Lord made you see your vocation and when the Lord visited you in a difficult time,” are moments that every Christian should contemplate on, Pope Francis said.

“In our life, there have been one, two, three moments in which Jesus came close to us and manifested himself,” the pope said. “Do not forget these moments. We must go back and take them back because they are moments of inspiration where we encountered Jesus Christ.”

Memory, he continued, is also “rooted” in the experiences passed on by parents, grandparents and teachers and are an important source of strength for Christians.

“We didn’t receive our faith from the mail but from men and women who transmitted faith to us,” the pope said.

Recalling the day’s Gospel reading from St. Mark, in which Jesus reminds the scribes of the first commandment to “love your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind,” the pope said that “the memory of the law” is another important source of strength.”

“The law is a gesture of love the Lord has made with us because he showed us the path, he told us: you will not be mistaken on this path,” Pope Francis said. “Go back to the memory of the law. Not the cold law, the one that seems simply juridical. No; the law of love, the law that the Lord has placed in our hearts.”