Pope warns against attitudes that prevent people from becoming part of Jesus' flock

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 During his homily at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis said the faithful are called to follow Christ, but that there are certain attitudes that prevent them from “becoming members of Jesus' flock.” 

We are ‘sheep’ of all these things – wealth, apathy, rigidity, worldliness, clericalism, ways of doing, ideologies, lifestyles. Freedom is lacking, and we cannot follow Jesus without freedom. 

Pope Francis also made a distinction between faithfulness and rigidity. He said that faithfulness is a gift from God, whereas rigidity takes away one's freedom in following Christ.

(Source: Vatican News) 

 “There are many of us who have entered the door of the Lord but then fail to continue because we are imprisoned by wealth. Jesus takes a hard line regarding wealth. Wealth keeps us from going ahead. Do we need to fall into poverty? No, but, we must not become slaves to wealth. Wealth is the lord of this world, and we cannot serve two masters.” 

  “Jesus reproached the doctors of the law for their rigidity in interpreting the law, which is not faithfulness. Faithfulness is always a gift of God; rigidity is only security for oneself.” 

It is a terrible sickness that robs the faithful of freedom and impedes them from going to Jesus.” 

These are some of the things that stop us from becoming members of Jesus’s flock. We are ‘sheep’ of all these things – wealth, apathy, rigidity, worldliness, clericalism, ideologies. But freedom is lacking and we cannot follow Jesus without freedom. At times freedom might go too far, and we might slip and fall. Yes, that’s true. But this is slipping before becoming free.” 

May the Lord enlighten us to see within ourselves if we have the freedom required to go through the door which is Jesus, to go beyond it with Jesus in order to become sheep of His flock.” 

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