Pope Francis at Santa Marta: Worldly Christians Are Enemies of the Cross

Warns Against Falling Into a Mediocre Mentality

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«We must be careful not to slip toward the path of being pagan Christians, Christians in appearance,» Pope Francis warned the faithful today during his Mass at Casa Santa Marta.

As reported by Vatican Radio, the Pope reflected on St. Paul’s Letter to the Philippians. In it, the Apostle warns against those Christians who “live like enemies of the cross of Christ.”

“Their end is destruction. Their God is their stomach; their glory is in their ‘shame.’ Their minds are occupied with earthly things,” St. Paul writes.

Calling them “pagan Christians,” the Pope described these people as those who identify themselves as Christians yet live a pagan life. He also said that like in the time of Paul, there are many today who are Christians only in appearance.

«The temptation to get used to mediocrity, the mediocrity of Christians, these Christians, it is their undoing because their hearts cool, they become lukewarm,” the Pope said. “And the Lord had strong words for these lukewarm [Christians]: ‘because you are lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth’. These are very strong words! They are enemies of the Cross of Christ. They take the name, but do not follow the requirements of Christian life.”

Echoing Paul’s words that the citizenship of Christians is in heaven, the Pope called on those present, including himself, to reflect on whether this worldliness exists within.

«Do I like to brag? Do I like money? Do I like pride, arrogance? Where are my roots, that is, where am I a citizen of? Heaven or earth? In the world or the worldly spirit?” the Pope asked.

“Our citizenship is in heaven, and we await heaven and Our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. And theirs? Their ultimate fate will be destruction!”

Path towards corruption

Regarding today’s Gospel, which recalled the parable of the dishonest steward, the Pope said that like the steward, Christians do not become enemies of the cross immediately, but bit by bit.

«How did this steward in the Gospel arrive at this point of cheating, of stealing from his master?” he asked.

“How did he get there? From one day to the next? No! Little by little. One day a tip here, the next day a bribe there, and this is how little by little you arrive at corruption. The path of worldliness of these enemies of the Cross of Christ is like this, it leads you to corruption! And then you end up like this man, right? Openly stealing … «

Concluding his homily, the Pope encouraged the faithful to follow the the cross of Christ, which he said included “humility, poverty, meekness, service to others, worship, prayer.»

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Junno Arocho Esteves

Newark, New Jersey, USA Bachelor of Science degree in Diplomacy and International Relations.

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