Pope Francis at Santa Marta - May 26

PHOTO.VA - OSSERVATORE ROMANO

Pope's Morning Homily: Christian Identity Can't Be Watered Down, Lose Its Flavor

During Mass at Santa Marta, Says Christians Must Remain Faithful to Their God-given Identity

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The truth of our Christian identity must be witnessed in our lives, without allowing it to be watered down or lose its flavor.

During his daily Mass at Casa Santa Marta this morning, Pope Francis called on Christians to contemplate what exactly is our Christian identity, and warned against ways it can be weakened, reported Vatican Radio.

It is true that we are sinners, Francis acknowledged. Yet, he added, when we fall down, God’s strength enables us to get up again and continue our journey.

While sin is part of our identity, the Holy Father said, we are sinners with faith in God “who has anointed us, put his seal upon us” and given us the Holy Spirit as a pledge in our hearts.

Christians, the Pope said, are those who remain faithful to this God-given identity as the anointed ones who let the Spirit into their hearts, rather than those who follow a particular philosophy.

Caution

The Argentine Pontiff went on to warn of three ways in which this witness can be weakened. 

The first applies to those who move for a concrete faith in Christ to “a kind of insipid religion of just prayers and ideas,”  a type which could be compared to the Gnostics in the ancient world.

These “modern Gnostics,” Francis said, are tempted to avoid the scandal of the Cross. Through their “rather ethereal Christian spirituality,” they are content to seek God, Francis said.

Second, there are those who always are searching for some “novelty” in their Christian identity since they have forgotten they have been anointed and given the guarantee of the Spirit. Francis joked that they say: “Where are the visionaries who can tell us exactly what message Our Lady will be sending at 4 o’clock this afternoon?”

The third group, the Pontiff said, are those whose identity is weakened by moral and human “worldliness. Francis said, ”They are like salt that loses its flavor.”

“Yet,” he continued, “throughout the history of Salvation, God has patiently led us from ambiguity to the concrete certainties of the Incarnation and of our Redemption through the death of his Son.”

Pope Francis concluded, saying, “This is our identity,” and called on those gathered to ask the Lord for the grace to bear witness to this truth. 

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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