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Pope Francis: It is a scandal that some Christians behave like pagans

In his homily at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis said that it's scandalous to see a Christian who goes to Mass on Sunday but lives like a pagan.

POPE FRANCIS

"It is the scandal of the Christians who call themselves Christian, and even go to Mass on Sundays, but do not live like Christians. They live like worldly people or pagans. And when a person is like this, it causes a scandal. How many times have we heard in our neighborhoods, in our stores, 'Look, he or she, goes to Mass every Sunday and then does this, this, this, this...' And people are shocked.�

The Pope also said that Christians must open their hearts so that they do not "receive the grace of God in vain.�

SUMMARY OF THE POPE'S CATECHESIS

(Source: Vatican Radio)

Reflecting on todayâ??s reading from St Paulâ??s second letter to the Corinthians, Pope Francis noted that the Lord freely gives us his grace and that we must be ready, right now, to receive that gift. We need to prepare our hearts, he said, so that we do not "receive the grace of God in vainâ?. We must be attentive to God so that we can welcome his Word, rather than causing scandal by our un-Christian behavior.

How often, the Pope said, do we hear people speak of Christians who go to Mass on Sundays but then behave like pagans, causing scandal to others. But how should we welcome God into our hearts, he asked? By freeing ourselves from all noise and passion that does not come from God and by removing all those things that disturb our peace of mind. In the reading from St Matthewâ??s Gospel, the Pope said, Jesus explains how we must overturn our "eye for an eyeâ? and offer the other cheek to those who do us wrong.

To be free of worldly passion, Pope Francis said, we must have a humble heart which rejects all conflicts and battles. This is the noise of the pagan world and the noise of the devil, he said, but our hearts must be at peace if we want to bear witness to our faith without scandal or criticism. Returning to the words of St Paul, the Pope stressed we must keep our hearts ready for God through all "endurance, afflictions, hardships, constraints, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, vigils, fasts.â? 

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