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Pope Francis: Christians cannot lead fulfilling lives without service

2015-06-11

Pope Francis said during his Thursday morning homily at Casa Santa Marta that being a complete Christian requires service. He added that Jesus exists in those who Christians are called to help, like the sick or homeless.

POPE FRANCIS
"If a disciple is not walking the path of service then there no use for walking. If his life is not for service, there is no need to live as a Christian. And there is the temptation of selfishness: 'Yes, I am Christian. I am at peace. I confess. I go to Mass. I fulfill the commandments.' But service! The other part: the service to Jesus through the sick, the imprisoned, the hungry, the shirtless. Jesus told us that we have to do this because He is there! The service to Christ in the other.”

It is "sad” when Christian communities forget the call to help others, the Pope said. He added that Christians must live for others, as Jesus did. 

SUMMARY OF THE POPE'S CATECHESIS
"This dual journey,” the Pope said, "is the double path that Jesus wants from his disciples." It also requires service, the Pope stressed.  "A disciple who does not serve others is not Christian. The disciple has to do what Jesus preached in those two pillars of Christianity: the Beatitudes and the 'protocol' on which we shall be judged, Matthew (chapter) 25." These two pillars, he stressed, correctly "frame” evangelical service.

Pope Francis then recalled Jesus’ words to His disciples, "Freely you have received, freely [you must] give." "The journey of service is free,” the Pope stressed, "because we have received Salvation for free, pure grace, none of us has bought salvation, none of us has deserved it. It [comes to us through] pure grace of the Father in Jesus Christ, in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ."

Pope Francis summed up his Homily with these three key words:  "Journey, as a sending off  to announce [the Gospel]. Service: the life of a Christian is not for himself; it is for others, as was the life of Jesus." And the third word, the Pope noted, is "Gratuity” or "Freely.”


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