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Pope Francis celebrates Holy Mass in Santa Marta

PHOTO.VA - © L'OSSERVATORE ROMANO

Pope’s Morning Homily: You Can’t Be a True Christian If You Don’t Give Witness to Christ

At Casa Santa Marta, Thanks a Group of Priests Celebrating Their 50th Anniversary

Pope Francis noted today that a true Christian must give witness to Christ since giving testimony is one of the peculiarities of Christian behavior.

The Pope said this during his morning homily today at the Casa Santa Marta, according to Vatican Radio.

Part of the congregation was made up of a number of priests who celebrated with the Pope their 50th year of ordination.

“The mystery of God is light,” the Pope said, drawing from today’s Gospel.

“And this is one of the traits of a Christian who has received the light in Baptism and must give it. That is, the Christian is a witness. Testimony. One of the peculiarities of Christian behavior. A Christian who brings this light, must show it because he is a witness.”

A Christian who does not give witness to Christ isn’t a true Christian, Francis continued.

“When a Christian would prefer not to show the light of God but prefers his own darkness, this enters his heart because he is afraid of the light. And the idols, which are dark, he likes best. So he lacks: he’s missing something and is not a true Christian. Witness: a Christian is a witness. Of Jesus Christ, the Light of God. He has to put that light on the lampstand of his life.”

The Bishop of Rome also considered the phrase from the Gospel, “The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you.”

“Another trait of the Christian,”  he reflected, “is magnanimity, because he is the child of a magnanimous father, of great heart.”

“The Christian heart is magnanimous.  It is open, always. It is not a heart that is closed in on its own selfishness. Or one that’s calculating: ‘up to this point, up to here.’ When you enter this light of Jesus, when you enter into Jesus’ friendship, when you let yourself be guided by the Holy Spirit, the heart becomes open, magnanimous… The Christian, then, does not gain, but loses. But he loses to gain something else, and in this — quote — ‘defeat’ of interests, he gains Jesus; he gains by becoming Jesus’ witness.”

Pope Francis then addressed those present who are celebrating 50 years of service in the priesthood:

“For me it is a joy to celebrate with you today, as you mark the 50th anniversary of your priesthood: 50 years on the path of light and giving witness, 50 years of trying to be better, trying to bring light to the lampstand.  Sometimes we fall, but we get up again, always with the desire to give light, generously, that is, with a magnanimous heart. Only God and your own memory know how many people you have received generously with the kindness of fathers, of brothers … to how many people whose heart was a bit ‘dark’ have you given light, the light of Jesus. Thank you. Thank you for what you have done in the Church, for the Church and for Jesus.”

“May the Lord give you joy, this great joy,” the Pope concluded, “of having sown well,  of having shown light well and of having opened your arms to receive all with magnanimity.”

Readings provided by the US bishops’ conference:

Memorial of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 320

Reading 1 2 SM 7:18-19, 24-29

After Nathan had spoken to King David,
the king went in and sat before the LORD and said,
“Who am I, Lord GOD, and who are the members of my house,
that you have brought me to this point?
Yet even this you see as too little, Lord GOD;
you have also spoken of the house of your servant
for a long time to come:
this too you have shown to man, Lord GOD!“You have established for yourself your people Israel as yours forever,
and you, LORD, have become their God.
And now, LORD God, confirm for all time the prophecy you have made
concerning your servant and his house,
and do as you have promised.
Your name will be forever great, when men say,
‘The LORD of hosts is God of Israel,’
and the house of your servant David stands firm before you.
It is you, LORD of hosts, God of Israel,
who said in a revelation to your servant,
‘I will build a house for you.’
Therefore your servant now finds the courage to make this prayer to you.
And now, Lord GOD, you are God and your words are truth;
you have made this generous promise to your servant.
Do, then, bless the house of your servant
that it may be before you forever;
for you, Lord GOD, have promised,
and by your blessing the house of your servant
shall be blessed forever.”

Responsorial Psalm PS 132:1-2, 3-5, 11, 12, 13-14

R. (Lk 1:32b) The Lord God will give him the throne of David, his father.
LORD, remember David
and all his anxious care;
How he swore an oath to the LORD,
vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob.
R. The Lord God will give him the throne of David, his father.
“I will not enter the house where I live,
nor lie on the couch where I sleep;
I will give my eyes no sleep,
my eyelids no rest,
Till I find a home for the LORD,
a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob.”
R. The Lord God will give him the throne of David, his father.
The LORD swore an oath to David
a firm promise from which he will not withdraw:
“Your own offspring
I will set upon your throne.”
R. The Lord God will give him the throne of David, his father.
“If your sons keep my covenant,
and the decrees which I shall teach them,
Their sons, too, forever
shall sit upon your throne.”
R. The Lord God will give him the throne of David, his father.
For the LORD has chosen Zion,
he prefers her for his dwelling:
“Zion is my resting place forever;
in her I will dwell, for I prefer her.”
R. The Lord God will give him the throne of David, his father.

Alleluia PS 119:105

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
A lamp to my feet is your word,
a light to my path.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MK 4:21-25

Jesus said to his disciples,
“Is a lamp brought in to be placed under a bushel basket
or under a bed,
and not to be placed on a lampstand?
For there is nothing hidden except to be made visible;
nothing is secret except to come to light.
Anyone who has ears to hear ought to hear.”
He also told them, “Take care what you hear.
The measure with which you measure will be measured out to you,
and still more will be given to you.
To the one who has, more will be given;
from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”

About Kathleen Naab

United States

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