» 08/31/2014, 00.00
Pope: Conform to Christ and not this world, and follow His path
At the Sunday Angelus Pope Francis warns against becoming "worldly" and "tasteless salt”. "Watered down Christians" are like watered down wine, "you do not know whether it is wine or water". Read the Gospel every day. Gospel, Eucharist, prayer help us to safeguard the newness of Jesus. Tomorrow World Day for Safeguarding Creation.
Vatican City (AsiaNews)
- Christians should not conform "to this world, but to Christ, and follow
Him on His path", said Pope
Francis Sunday ahead of reciting the Angelus with
pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's
Square. He recalled that "we
Christians live in the world," but
"we risk becoming 'worldly', like 'tasteless salt, as Jesus would say (cf. Mt 5:13), in other words we risk becoming watered down Christians and losing the charge of newness
that comes from the Lord and the Holy Spirit".
"It 's sad - he continued moving from his scripted speech- to find watered down Christians, who are just like watered down wine and you can't tell if they are Christians or
watered down. Like watered down wine
you can't tell if its wine or water". "If the salt has become tasteless - he added - it is useless .... Their salt has lost its flavor and
they have become worldly ...".
The inspiration came from today's Gospel (Matthew 16.21-27) in which
Jesus announces that He will suffer
greatly, be killed, and rise
again the third day. "It
is a critical moment - said the Pope -
in which the contrast between Jesus' way
of thinking and that of the
disciples emerges. Even Peter feels
compelled to rebuke the Master,
because he cannot reconcile himself to the idea that the Messiah
would come to such an ignoble end. Then Jesus, in turn, severely
rebukes Peter, puts
him back "in line"
because he does not think "according
to God, but according to men"
(verse. 23) and without
realizing it is part of Satan,
"The Apostle Paul insists on this point - he added -
in this Sunday's liturgy, writing to the Christians
in Rome, he tells them:" Do not conform
yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you
may discern what is the will of God"(Rom 12,2)".
The opposite of being watered down is
"when through the power of the Gospel,
mankind's criteria of judgment, determining values, points of interest, lines
of thought, sources of inspiration and models of life" (Paul VI, ibid., n. Evangelii nuntiandi,
"So - he continued - you must be continually renewed by drawing from the life source of the Gospel. And how can you
do this in practice? First of all, just by reading and meditating
on the Gospel every day, so
that the word of Jesus is always present in our lives".
And here Francis recalled some
advice which he has already given several times: "Remember to always carry with you a little Gospel and
read a page every
day ... Let us carry
the Word of God."
In order to be constantly renewed, in addition to meditating on the word of
God, it is important to participate
"in the Sunday Mass, where
we meet the Lord in the community,
listen to His Word and receive the Eucharist unites
us to Him and each other. Then another very important thing for the spiritual renewal are days of recollection
and retreats. Gospel, the
Eucharist, prayer, thanks to these
gifts of the Lord we can conform ourselves not to the world, but to
Christ, and follow Him on His path, the path of
"losing our life "to find it (v 25).."
Losing it "in the sense of giving it, offering it for love, and in love -
and this involves the sacrifice of
the Cross - to
receive it again, purified,
freed from selfishness and from the mortgage
of death, full of eternity. "
"May the Virgin Mary - he concluded
- always precede us in this journey, let us be guided and accompanied by her."
After the Angelus, Francis recalled that tomorrow is the Day for the Safeguarding of Creation,
promoted by the Italian Bishops'
Conference. "The theme this
year - said the pope - is very important, "Educating to care for creation, for the
health of our country and our
cities". I hope
that it will strengthen the commitment of all institutions,
associations and citizens to safeguard the
life and health of people by
respecting the environment and nature. "
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