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Pope Francis delivers his homily in Santa Marta


‘What Is Christian Witness?’ ‘Being Salt & Light,’ Says Pope

At Casa Santa Marta, Francis Says Christian Are ‘Sunny’ When They Glorify God With Their Lives

How are we to witness that we are Christian? By showing we are salt and light…

According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis stressed this during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta.

Drawing inspiration from today’s readings, the Holy Father focused on Christ’s call to all the faithful to be salt and light in and for the world.

No Tasteless Salt

“This is what it is to be Christian: to illumine, to be of help in seeing that both the message and people are not corrupted – to preserve as salt does; but, if the light is hidden, if the salt becomes tasteless, without strength – if it weakens – the testimony will be weak. ”

The proclamation of the Gospel, the Pope said, is “decisive,” noting there are no “shades” to saying “yes” or “no” to the Gospel.

Any attempt to offer a “nuanced” response to the Gospel, he said, will “lead you to seek artificial safety.”

The three words of “yes,” “salt,” and “light,” as proposed in St. Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians, the Holy Father stressed, “indicate the power of the Gospel that leads to witnessing and even glorifying God.”

In this “yes,” the Jesuit Pope highlighted, we find “all the words of God in Jesus, all the promises of God.”

In Jesus, he continued, “everything that has been promised is fulfilled. For this reason, He is the fullness.”

Never ‘No,’ Always ‘Yes’

“In Jesus, there is no ‘no’: always ‘yes,’ for the glory of the Father. But we too share this ‘yes’ of Jesus, because He has given us the anointing, He has imprinted on us the Seal, has given us the ‘security deposit’ of the Spirit.

The Spirit that will bring us to the definitive ‘Yes,’ and also to our own fullness.

That same Spirit, he reminded, will help us to become light and salt, that is to say, it is the Spirit that leads us to give Christian witness.”

“Everything is positive,” said the Pope, “and that Christian witness” is “salt and light.”

Noting that light is meant to illuminate, the Pope stressed that, “anyone who hides the light gives counter-testimony.”

“These then have the light, but do not give it,  do not make it to shine forth – and if they do not allow the light they have to shine forth, they do not glorify the Father who is in heaven.”

Other than decisive words ‘yes’ and ‘no’, as the Lord has taught us, the Holy Father stressed, “anything extra comes from the Evil One.”

Decisiveness is, “this attitude of security and testimony,” he added, noting that the Lord has entrusted to the Church and to all of us baptized.”

“Security in the fullness of promises in Christ: in Christ, everything is accomplished. ”

“If we do not accept the ‘yes’ in Jesus Christ,” the Pope stressed, “this happens, and therefore, we must be decisive, be hopeful and say yes.”

Ask Yourselves

He then called on those present to ask themselves a series of questions: “Am I light for others? Am I salt for others – that salt, which insists on life and defends it from corruption?”

“Do I cling to Jesus Christ, who is the ‘yes’? Do I feel annointed, sealed?”

“Do I know that I have the security that will be full in Heaven, but at least the [Holy Spirit] is with me now as a ‘down payment.”

Commonly, Pope Francis observed, “When a person is full of light, we say that person is ‘of a sunny disposition.'”

Noting what we observe is more than a ‘disposition,’ Francis stressed: “This is the reflection of the Father in Jesus in whom all promises are fulfilled. ”

When one glorifies God with his life, the Christian is “sunny,” he stressed, reminding: “Jesus said to the disciples, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father. Thus, is the Christian’s life.”

Pope Francis concluded, saying, “Let us ask this grace “to cling, to be rooted in the fullness of the promises in Christ Jesus who is the ‘yes,’ totally ‘yes’, and to bring this fullness with the salt and light of our testimony to others to give Glory to the Father who is in heaven.”

Members of the Council of Cardinals, or so called ‘C9’ who work with the Pope to reform the Curia, were at the Mass, as they have their 20th session in the Vatican this week, June 12-14, 2017.

About Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is a 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 four languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, at times from the papal flight, and has done television and radio commentary, including for Vatican Radio and BBC. She is a contributor to National Catholic Register, UK Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside the Vatican, and other Catholic news outlets. She has also collaborated with the Vatican in various projects, including an internship at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and is a collaborator with NBC Universal, NBC News, Euronews, and EWTN. For 'The Other Francis': or

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