Vatican City ( AsiaNews) - "Seriously"
living like Christians, not by "half measures", always aware that in each of
our lives there is a 'before and after' Jesus. A 'before' that
St. Paul considers "waste", while the 'after' is like a new creation.
Pope Francis homily at morning Mass in Casa Santa Marta on the 'before and after' Jesus was inspired by the passage of the Letter to the Romans that is centered on the mystery of our redemption.
According to Vatican Radio's Italian
language the Pope says the Apostle "tries to explain this with the logic
of the before and after: before Jesus and after Jesus."
"We have been re-made in Christ! What Christ did for us is a re-creation: the blood of Christ has re- created us. It is a second creation! If before all our life, our body, our soul, our habits were on the path of sin, of iniquity, after this re-creation we must make the effort to walk on the path of righteousness, sanctification. Use this word: holiness. All of us were baptized: Then, our parents - we were children - have made the act of faith in our name: I believe in Jesus Christ, "who has forgiven us our sins'. I believe in Jesus Christ".
We should "undertake once more" this faith in Jesus and "carry it within us on our life's path". "Living as a Christian means to progress in this faith in Christ, this re-creation". And with the faith to continue the works that arise from this faith, "works for our sanctification". We must carry forward "the first sanctification that we all have received in Baptism". "We are weak and many times, many times, we sin, we are far from perfect ... And this is the path of sanctification? Yes and no! If you will get used to: 'This is how my life is, I believe in Jesus Christ, but live as I want ' ... Oh, no, that will not sanctify, it's wrong! It goes against all sense! But if you say, "Yes I, even though I am a sinner, I'm weak' and if you always go to the Lord and say: 'Lord, you have the strength, give me faith! You can make me clean'. In the Sacrament of reconciliation He will heal you, yes even our imperfections are needed on this path of sanctification. But always this: before and after".
"Before the Act of Faith, prior to acceptance of Jesus Christ, who has re-created us with his blood we were on the road of injustice." After that, however, "we are on the path of sanctification, but we must take it seriously!". And , he added , to take it seriously , we must carry out just, simple works such as "worship God: God always comes first! And then do what Jesus advises us, help others". These "are the works that Jesus did in his life : the works of justice , works of re-creation ." "When we give food to a hungry we re -create hope in him. And it is so with others". If we "accept the faith and then do not live it, we are Christians only in memory":
"Without this awareness, the
before and after of which Paul speaks to us, our Christianity does not help
anyone! Moreover: it takes the path of hypocrisy. 'I call myself a Christian,
but live like a pagan! ' . Sometimes we say 'half way Christians', who do not
take this seriously. We are holy, justified, sanctified by the blood of Christ:
Take this sanctification and carry it forward! Not taking this seriously makes
us lukewarm Christians: yes, yes, no, no'. Like our mothers said: 'Fair weather
Christians...a little dab of Christianity, a little dab of catechesis .. .
But inside there is no true conversion, we don't have Paul's conviction: 'I
gave up everything and I consider it junk, to gain Christ and be found in Him
This "was Paul's passion and that is the passion of a Christian!" You need to " let go of everything that takes us away from Jesus Christ" and "make everything anew: everything is new in Christ". And this "can be done". St. Paul did it, but also many Christians, "not only the saints, those we know, even the anonymous saints, those who live Christianity seriously." The question , therefore , we should ask ourselves is whether we want to live our Christianity seriously if we want to pursue this re -creation". Let us ask St. Paul - concluded Pope Francis - to give us the grace to seriously live as Christians, to really believe that we have been sanctified by the blood of Jesus Christ. "