VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Being a Christian does not mean life will be just a big endless party, Pope Francis said.
There will be good times and bad as well as moments of isolation, anguish or confusion, the pope said in his homily Feb. 1 during morning Mass at the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
Being a Christian, he said, means having encountered Jesus, feeling his love and choosing to believe in his hope and promise.
The pope’s homily focused on the day’s first reading from the Book of Hebrews, in which the author urges his readers to “not throw away your confidence” and reminds them that perseverance and endurance are needed “to do the will of God and receive what he has promised.”
Pope Francis said: “Christian life is not a carnival, it is not a party and nonstop happiness. Christian life has its really beautiful and terrible moments,” moments when things seem fine and moments that are bleak and where nothing makes sense.
The day’s reading explains what is needed to endure and overcome these difficult moments: memory and hope, the pope said.
One needs to remember those “happy days of encounter with the Lord” and those moments of love, he said, and find consolation in the Lord’s promise.
Christian martyrs from today and throughout history possessed this courageous perseverance, he said.
“So many men and women are suffering for the faith, but they remember their first encounter with God, they have hope and they move forward,” he said.
This is what is needed in times of persecution and “when the devil attacks us with temptation,” he said.
“Always look to the Lord,” he said. Persevere with one’s own cross, remember God’s love and go on with hope, ready to receive what he has promised.
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