VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Christians reveal their faith not by spewing superfluous words about Jesus but by having a genuine experience of his love despite their sins, Pope Francis said.
People who truly know Christ must ask him for the grace to not “repeat words like a parrot, but rather speak words born from experience,” the pope said Oct. 25 in his homily during Mass at the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
“This is our strength, this is our witness,” he said. “Christians of words, there are many; even we can be that way, but this isn’t holiness. Holiness means being Christians who practice in life what Jesus taught and what Jesus has sown in your hearts.”
In his homily, the pope reflected on the first reading from St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, in which the apostle prays members of the community in Ephesus will “know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
St. Paul’s personal experience, the pope explained, didn’t come from “theological studies” but from an actual event in his life in which he experienced Jesus’ love toward him despite his sins.
“What Paul felt, he wants us Christians to feel,” the pope said. “Paul wants Christians — in this case the Christians of Ephesus — to have this experience, to enter into this experience to the point that each one can say: ‘(Jesus) loved me and gave himself for me,’ but to say it as their own experience.”
But to have that experience, the pope said, Christians must first recognize that they are “chosen by love, but sinners” and “be aware of one their own sins.”
Pope Francis said that by recognizing their sins and by praying for the grace to truly know Jesus, Christians can bear “the fire that (Christ) has brought to the earth.”
“It would be a beautiful habit if every morning — or at any time — we would say, ‘Lord, may I know you and you know me,'” the pope said. “And thus, we can move forward.”
In a time of crisis CatholicPhilly.com keeps the information flowing
During the current coronavirus crisis, you can help CatholicPhilly.com deliver the kind of news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live ― every day.
Budgets are tight at this time, and CatholicPhilly's is no different than those of most families. We make sure your donation in any amount will 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.
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