Pope Francis says Jesus' preaching can be characterized in 5 unique ways
Pope Francis entered the Paul VI Audience Hall aided by his cane. He expressed his appreciation to the pilgrims for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and he continued his cycle of catechesis explaining the 5 signs of Jesus' preaching. The first is joy. The Pope said that without it, the Gospel cannot be spread because it is the Good News.
A sad Christian can talk about beautiful things, but it is all in vain if the way he says it is not joyful. One philosopher said, “A sad Christian is a Christian who falls short.” Don't forget this.
The second hallmark of Jesus' preaching is that it is liberating. So, a good Christian does not proselytize or make others feel guilty.
Of course, following Jesus involves self-denial and sacrifices. On the other hand, for every beautiful thing he asks, how much more powerful is the reality of life! But he who bears witness to Jesus, shows the beauty of the destination rather than the fatigue of the journey.
As an example, Pope Francis said that after a trip, people talk about the beautiful things they saw, not the hours it took to get there.
The third hallmark of Jesus' preaching is that he brings light. The Pope explained that no passage in the Old Testament tells of the healing of a blind man. He said that this is a sign of the coming of the Messiah.
The fourth feature is that Jesus is a healer. Pope Francis said He brings the cure for sin—an evil with no human remedy.
The good news is that with Jesus, this ancient evil—sin, which seems invincible—no longer has the last word. I sin because I am weak. Every one of us does. But, that is not the last word. The last word is Jesus' hand that lifts you up from sin. And how many times does He do this? Once? No. Twice? No. Three times? No, always.
The Pope said the last feature of Jesus' preaching is that it is surprising because He announces God's forgiveness in the most unexpected moments.
God forgets everything. How so? He forgets all our sins. That's why he has no memory of them.
“But God the Father, I always do the same things.” And He will do the same thing He always does: forgive and embrace you! Please, let us not lose faith in that.
Pope Francis concluded his catechesis by adding that Jesus' message is especially directed to the poor and he invited pilgrims to never forget them.