During his Tuesday homily at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis recounted the biblical passage in which God punished the Israeli people for their complaints by sending serpents to poison them. He said that the story showed that Christians should embrace life's challenges rather than turning from God.
"The only way to heal is to look at the Cross, to look at God who takes upon himself our sins: my sin is there.”
Decrying "yes, but” Christianity, the Pope added that believers cannot place conditions on their faith, because doing so only closes them off to God. He warned that many Christians "die in the desert of their sorrow, grumbling and not accepting God’s way.”
EXTRACTS FROM THE POPE'S HOMILY
(Source, Vatican Radio)
"How many of us Christians find ourselves ‘poisoned’ by the dissatisfactions of life. Yes: God is good but… we are Christians but… This kind of Christian ends up not opening his heart to God’s Salvation, but always posing conditions. ‘Yes, I want to be saved but in this way…’ This attitude poisons the heart.”
"Jesus himself takes that poison upon himself. This ‘tepidness’ of ‘half-way’ Christians who show enthusiasm at the start of Jesus’ journey only to become dissatisfied on the way. The only way to heal is to look at the Cross, to look at God who takes upon himself our sins: my sin is there.”
"Let’s look at the serpent, at the poison, there, in the body of Christ. The poison of all the sins in the world and let us ask for the grace to accept difficult moments. To accept the divine way of salvation, to accept this ‘wretched food’ that the children of Israel lamented... Let’s accept the paths that the Lord leads us on. May this Holy Week – that begins on Sunday – help us to turn away from the temptation to become "Christians yes, but…”