Pope Francis During Mass in Santa Marta

Pope Francis During Mass in Santa Marta © L'OSSERVATORE ROMANO

At Santa Marta, Pope Gives 'Simple Recipe' for Not Erring in Christian Life

Francis Asks If All Our Decisions Are Made in Jesus’ Name; Stresses ‘Follow Him,’ Not ‘Fortune Tellers,’ Nor ‘Alleged Visionaries’

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When we make decisions, do we make them in Jesus’ name?
Pope Francis urged the faithful in his chapel to ask themselves this, during his daily morning Mass this morning at Casa Santa Marta, reported Vatican Radio.
Moreover, during his homily, the Pope stressed that Christian life can be pretty easy if you always remember to listen to Jesus’ voice–only–and remember where one always finds it.
The Pope drew inspiration from yesterday’s Gospel according to St. John which recounted Jesus the Good Shepherd Who cares for His sheep.
“He who does not enter the sheepfold by the door,” but tries another way, “is a thief and a robber,” the Pope said. Christ is the door, stressed Pope Francis, “and there is no other.”
Still speaking on docility to Christ, Francis reiterated that Jesus is the door through which we must pass to have eternal life.
Ask If All Our Decisions Taken Are Always in Jesus’ Name
The Holy Father pointed out the simplicity of the language with which Jesus addresses His teachings to the people. one of imagery “that conveys profound truths in a powerful way.”
“Jesus,” the Pope said, “always spoke to people with simple images: all those people knew what a shepherd’s life was like, because they saw it every day.” They also understood, therefore, what it meant when He said, “you enter only through the gate of the sheep pen,” and that anyone trying to get in by any other way was up to no good.
“The Lord thus clearly says: you cannot enter eternal life by any entryway that is not the door – that is not Jesus. He is the door of our life – and not only of eternal life, but also of our daily lives.
“Any decision I take, I take either in the name of Jesus, passing by way of the door of Jesus, or I take it a little – shall we say in simple language – through the smuggler’s hatch [It. contrabbando]? We enter the enclosure through the door, which is Jesus.”
Follow Jesus, Not ‘Fortune Tellers’ Nor ‘Alleged Visionaries’
Jesus, as Our Shepherd, walks ahead of us and leads us, the Pope reminded, saying, “The journey is just that, following Jesus on the path of life, the life of every day,” and when we do this, he underscored, we need not fear being misled.
“Those who follow Jesus do nor err!” the Pope said, adding how often though he hears: “‘Oh, Father, yes, but things are difficult … So many times I do not see clearly what to do … I was told that there was a seer and I went there and I went there; I went to the [fortune teller], who turned the cards to me …’”
“If you do this,” he continued, “you do not follow Jesus. You follow another, who shows you another way, a different way. Jesus shows the way forward: there is no other who can show the way.’ Jesus has warned us: ‘There will be others who will say the way of the Messiah is this, this, this [other way]: do not listen. Do not hear them. I am the way.’ Jesus is the door and also the path: if we follow Him we shall not go astray.”
Pope Francis then focused on the voice of the Good Shepherd. “The sheep, he said, “follow Him because they know his voice.”
How Can We Discern It’s Jesus’ Voice, and Not Someone Else’s
The Pope then asked how can we know the voice of Jesus, and defend ourselves “from the voices of those who are not Jesus, those entering through the window, who are bandits, who [seek to] destroy and deceive you?”:
“I will tell you the recipe, [it is] simple: you will find the voice of Jesus in the Beatitudes. Should someone make to teach you a way contrary to the Beatitudes, [know] that such a one is one who has entered through the window: it is not Jesus! Second: you would know the voice of Jesus? You may know it when that voice speaks of the works of mercy. For example, in chapter 25 of St Matthew: if someone tells you what Jesus says there, that is the voice of Jesus. Third: you may know it is the voice of Jesus when it teaches you to say ‘Father’, that is, when it teaches you to pray the Our Father.”
Christian Life is Quite Easy
Pope Francis concluded, saying that the Christian life is really quite easy: Jesus is the door; He guides us along the Way, and we know His voice in the Beatitudes, in the works of mercy and when it teaches us to say ‘Father’.
“The door, the path and the voice,” said Pope Francis. “May the Lord make us understand that this is Jesus, this is the icon of Him: the pastor who leads, who shows the way, and teaches us to listen to His voice.”

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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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