Pope: there are "so many" Christians who are "not Christians, but who disguise themselves as Christians"
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "Many" Christians "are not Christians, but they disguise themselves as Christians," because their faith does not rest on the rock, which is Jesus: there are "superficial Christians who believe, yes God, Christ, but too 'popular': Jesus Christ is not the one that gives them foundation. They are modern Gnostics "and there are those who believe that the Christian life is to be taken so seriously that end up confusing solidity, firmness, with rigidity. They are rigid! They think that to be a Christian they must be in perpetual mourning".
This is how Pope Francis commented the passage from the Gospel of Matthew on houses built on rock or sand at this morning's Mass celebrated in Casa Santa Marta. These are two - in a sense opposite - "houses", in which two categories of believers live and which are both seriously flawed: they are grounded in a Christianity made of words and fail to rely on the "rock" of the Word of Christ. Pope Francis identified both groups in his comments on the Gospel of the day, the famous passage from Matthew of the houses built on sand and rock. "In the history of the Church there have been two classes of Christians: Christians of words - those" Lord, Lord, Lord "- and Christians of action, in truth. There has always been the temptation to live our Christianity not on the rock that is Christ. The only one who gives us the freedom to say 'Father' to God is Christ, our rock. He is the only one who sustains us in difficult times, no? As Jesus said: the rain falls, rivers overflow, winds blow, but the rock is safe, words, the words take flight, they are not needed. But this is the temptation of these Christians of words, of a Christianity without Jesus, a Christianity without Christ. And this has happened and is happening today in the Church: being Christians without Christ. "
There is a first type - which he defined as "gnostic -"who instead of loving the rock, loves beautiful words "and therefore lives floating on the surface of the Christian life. And then there's the other, who Pope Francis called "pelagian", who leads a staid and starched lifestyle. Christians, the Pope ironically added, who "stare at their feet" . "And this temptation exists today. Superficial Christians who believe, yes, God, yes Christ, but not 'everywhere': Jesus Christ is not the one who gives them their foundation. They are the modern gnostics. The temptation of gnosticism. A 'liquid' Christianity. On the other hand, there are those who believe that the Christian life should be taken so seriously that they end up confusing solidity, firmness, with rigidity. They are rigid! This think that being Christian means being in perpetual mourning. "
The fact is that there "are so many" of these Christians. But, he argued, "they are not Christians, they disguise themselves as Christians." "They do not know - he added - what the Lord is, they do not know what the rock is, do not have the freedom of Christians. To put it simply 'they have no joy".
"The former have a 'superficial' happiness. The others live in perpetual state of mourning, but do not know what Christian joy is. They do not know how to enjoy the life that Jesus gives us, for they know not to talk to Jesus. They do not feel that they rest on Jesus, with that firmness which the presence of Jesus gives. And they not only have no joy, they have no freedom either. They are the slaves of superficiality, of this life widespread, and the slaves of rigidity, they are not free. The Holy Spirit has no place in their lives,. It is the Spirit who gives us the freedom! Today, the Lord calls us to build our Christian life on Him, the rock, the One who gives us freedom, the One who sends us the Spirit, that keeps us going with joy, on His journey, following His proposals. "