Vatican City ( AsiaNews) - "A
faith that does not involve you , that does not lead you to the witness, is not
faith. It is nothing more than words".
This was Pope Francis' message this morning during Mass celebrated at Casa
Santa Marta, to affirm that the world is full of a lot of Christians who often recite
the words of the Creed but rarely put them into practice.
Vatican Radio reports that the
Pope was commenting on the passage of the Letter of St. James where it says
that "for just as
a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead". "We, too, - he continued - often get this wrong:
'But I have a lot of faith', we hear. 'I believe everything, everything ... '.
Perhaps this person who says that has a lukewarm, weak life. His
faith is a theory, but is not alive in his life. The Apostle James, when he
speaks of faith, he speaks about doctrine, what is the content of the faith. You
can learn all the commandments, all the prophecies, all the truths of faith,
but if this does is not put into practice, if it is without works, it is
useless. Theoretically, we can say the Creed, even without faith, and there are
many people who do so. Even demons. Demons
what is said in the Creed and know that it is the Truth". "Do
you believe in one God? You do well! But the demons do too and they tremble".
difference is that the demons "have no faith" because "faith is
not having knowledge" but rather "receiving the message of God"
brought by Christ.
The Pope pointed out that in the
Gospel, there are two telltale signs of those who "know what it is to be
believed, but do not have faith". The
first sign is "casuistry", represented by those who asked Jesus if it
was lawful to pay taxes or which of the seven brothers should marry their
brother's widow. The
second sign is "ideology". "Christians
who think of faith, but as a system of ideas, ideologues: even in the time of
Jesus, there were people like this. The
Apostle John tells them that they are the antichrist, the ideologues of faith, whatever
sign they may be. A that
time there were the Gnostics, but there many ... And so, those who fall into casuistry
or those that fall into the trap of ideologies are Christians who know the
doctrine, but without faith, like demons. Except that those tremble these no:
they live peacefully".
On the contrary, in the Gospel
there are also examples of "people who do not know the doctrine, but have
so much faith". Like the Canaanite
woman, who through her faith earns healing for her daughter, a victim of
possession, and the Samaritan woman who opens her heart because "she did not
meet with abstract truths" but "Jesus Christ". And
again, the blind man healed by Jesus and who is questioned by the Pharisees and
teachers of the law until he kneels in his simplicity and adores he who has
healed him. The
Pope concluded by pointing to these three people who show how faith and witness
are inseparable. "Faith
is an encounter with Jesus Christ, with God, and there is born and it leads you
to the witness. This is what the Apostle means, a faith without works, a faith
that does not involve you, that does not lead to witness,
it is not faith. It is nothing more than
words, just words".