Pope: Christians Are Called to Bring Light of Christ Through Genuine Witness

Sends Greetings For World Day of the Sick And Winter Olympics Participants

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“The Christian must be a shining person, who brings light, who always gives light! A light that is not his, but a gift from God.”

These were the words said by Pope Francis yesterday to pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square during his address prior to reciting the Angelus.

The Holy Father commented on Sunday’s Gospel in which Jesus says to his disciples: “You are the salt of the earth…You are the light of the world.” Recalling Jesus’ words, the Pope said that they should be understood as a “consequence of the Beatitudes.”

“[Jesus] wishes to say: if you will be poor in spirit, if you will be meek, if you will be pure of heart, if you will be merciful… you will be the salt of the earth and the light of the world!” the Pope exclaimed.

Just as salt is meant to give flavor, the Pope said, Christians are called through a holy life to “give taste to the different spheres of society and defend them from corruption, just as salt does.” Christians, he continued, are also called to bring the light of Christ through the genuine clarity of our witness.

“If we Christians lose our taste and extinguish our presence as salt and light, we will lose effectiveness,” he warned. “But how beautiful is this mission to give light to the world! It is a mission that we have. It is beautiful! It is also very beautiful to keep the light that we have received from Jesus, protect it, keep it.”

“The Christian must be a shining person, who brings light, who always gives light! A light that is not his, but a gift from God, it is Jesus’ gift. And we carry this light.”

Prior to reciting the Marian prayer with the faithful, the Pope said that a Christian without the light of Christ lives a meaningless life. “It is God himself who gives us this light and we give it to others. A light that is on! This is the Christian vocation,” he said.

Greetings for World Day of the Sick, Winter Olympics

Following the recitation of the Angelus, Pope Francis reminded the faithful that the World Day of the Sick will be observed on February 11th, on the memorial of the Blessed Virgin of Lourdes. The Holy Father called on those present to take the opportunity to place the community of sick people at the center of this day.

“We can imitate the attitude of Jesus toward the sick, the sick of every sort: the Lord cares for them, shares their suffering and opens their heart to hope,” the Pope said. The Pope also greeted the health care workers, thanking them “for their precious work.” Every day in the sick they encounter not only bodies marked by fragility, but persons to whom they offer attention and appropriate care,” he said.

“The attitude toward the sick that is generous and Christian is salt of the earth and light of the world. May Mary help us to practice it and obtain peace for all of those who are suffering.”

The Holy Father also sent greetings to the participants of the Winter Olympics, which are currently taking place in Sochi, Russia. “I would like to send my greetings to the organizers and all the athletes, with the wish that it be a true feast of sport and friendship,” he said. (J.A.E.)

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