Pope Francis is calling on the faithful to examine what type of Christians they are. During his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, the Holy Father stressed that there are three key groups of Christians and underscored that Christ’s followers are to always bring others closer to him, never create distance.
The Pontiff reflected on today’s Gospel from Mark in which Jesus heals the blind man, who others tried to silence. Bartimaeus, approaches Jesus, who asks what can He do for him. After Bartimaeus told Jesus that he wished to see, the Lord said, ‘Go your way; your faith has saved you.” Immediately, the blind man received his sight and followed Jesus.
The Pontiff suggested that from this reading, we can learn about three types of Christians.
The first group, Francis pointed out, is concerned with their own relationship with Jesus, but is indifferent to others around them.
“This group of people, even today, do not hear the cry of so many people who need Jesus. A group of people who are indifferent: they do not hear, they think that life is their own little group; they are content; they are deaf to the clamour of so many people who need salvation, who need the help of Jesus, who need the Church. These people are selfish, they live for themselves alone. They are unable to hear the voice of Jesus.”
The second group the Holy Father also criticized, saying they do “not want to hear the cry for help, but prefer to take care of their business, and use the people of God, use the Church for their own affairs.” Francis said they “do not bear witness.”
“They are Christians in name, parlour room Christians, Christians at receptions, but their interior life is not Christian, it is worldly. Someone who calls himself Christian and lives like a worldling drives away those who cry out for help from Jesus.”
“And then there are the rigorists,” he continued, “those whom Jesus rebukes, those who place such heavy weights on the backs of the people. Jesus devotes the whole of the 23rd chapter of St. Matthew to them: ‘Hypocrites,’ he says to them, ‘you exploit the people!’ And instead of responding to the cries of the people who cry out for salvation, they send them away.”
The group we ought to imitate is the third group of Christians, the Pope noted, namely that group which helps others approach the Lord, and draws people closer to Him.
“There is the group that has coherence among that which they believe and how they live, and help [people] approach Jesus, the people that shout, asking salvation, asking for grace, asking for spiritual health for their soul,” the Pope said.
The Holy Father concluded, calling on the faithful to make an examination of conscience and to see whether they draw people closer to Jesus or not.