Pope Francis has reminded the faithful that there are three interlinked dimensions of a Christian life: announcing the Gospel, intercession and hope.
The Holy Father stressed this during his daily morning Mass this morning at Casa Santa Marta, on the 43rd anniversary of the religious profession of Jorge Mario Bergoglio reported Vatican Radio.
Have courage, the Pontiff urged those present, to announce the Good News of our Lord, just like the Apostles who testified of Christ’s Resurrection even if it meant martyrdom.
Reflecting on the three ‘lynchpins’ that he said should mark the life of a believer, Francis underscored that the heart of announcing the Good News of Jesus for a Christian is to exclaim that Jesus died and rose from the dead for our salvation. This, he continued, is what the Apostles did before the Jews and the pagans and their testimony was made even at the cost of their lives, their own blood.
Announce the Gospel
“When John and Peter were brought before the Sanhedrin after the healing of the crippled man and the priests forbade them to mention the name of Jesus, the Resurrection, they courageously and simply said: ‘We cannot stop proclaiming what we have seen and heard,’ – the announcement. And we Christians through our faith have the Holy Spirit inside us that makes us see and listen to the truth about Jesus who was put to death for our sins and who rose again.
“This is the ‘announcement’ of our Christian life. Christ is alive! Christ is risen! Christ is among us in the community and accompanies us on our journey,” Francis said.
Speaking next on intercession, Francis stressed to those present that just as Jesus told his Apostles at the last Supper, He is praying for us and preparing us a place in the house of the Lord.
“What does this mean? How does Jesus prepare this place? By praying for each one of us. Jesus prays for us and this is His intercession. At this moment, Jesus is working by praying for us. Just as he told Peter one time before the passion, ‘Peter, I prayed for you.’ In the same way, Jesus is now the intercessor between the Father and us.”
The Holy Father underscored that Jesus intercedes for us by showing His wounds to the Father after the Resurrection and names each one of us to Him. This, the Pontiffe said, is Jesus’ prayer and how He intercedes on our behalf.
Pope Francis concluded his homily touching on the third dimension of a Christian life: hope.
“A Christian is a woman, a man of hope who hopes that the Lord will return,” he said. The fact that all the Church is waiting for the coming of Jesus Who will return, he added, is “Christian hope.”
“Each one of us, let’s ask ourselves: How is the announcement (of Jesus) in my life? How is my relationship with Jesus who intercedes for me? And how is my hope? Do I truly believe that the Lord is risen? Do I believe that he prays to the Father on my behalf? Each time that I call him, He is praying for me, He is interceding. Do I truly believe that He will return, that He will come? It would do us good to ask ourselves these (questions) about our faith: Do I believe in the announcement of Jesus’ good news? Do I believe in his intercession? Am I a man or a woman of hope?”