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Real Christian humility

Friday, 14 June 2013


(by L'Osservatore Romano, Weekly ed. in English, n. 25, 19 June 2013)


Without humility, without the ability to publicly acknowledge your sins and your own human frailty, you cannot attain salvation nor proclaim Christ, nor pretend to be his witness. Pope Francis invited everyone to reflect on the theme of Christian humility during his homily at Mass on Friday morning, 14 June, in the Chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae. Concelebrating with him among others were Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, President of the Governorate, and Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy. Also present were officials and employees from the Congregation. Accompanying Cardinal Bertello were relatives of the late Archbishop Ubaldo Calabresi, who was Apostolic Nuncio to Argentina for many years. During the prayers of the faithful, the Holy Father asked for prayers for the Archbishop to whom he was bound by a deep friendship.

The day’s readings from the Second Letter of Paul to the Corinthians (4:7-15) and the Gospel of Matthew (5:27-32) were at the centre of the reflection of the Pope, who linked the image of the “beauty of Jesus, of the power of Jesus, and of the salvation that Jesus brings us”, which the Apostle Paul speaks of, with that of the “earthen vessels” in which the treasure of faith is contained.

Christians are like clay vases because they are weak, since they are sinners. Nevertheless, the Pope said, between “us poor, earthen vessels” and “the power of Jesus Christ” is a dialogue; it is the “dialogue of salvation”. He warned however that when this dialogue assumes the tone of self- justification, it means that something is not working and that there is no salvation. The humility of a Christian is that of one who follows the path pointed out by the Apostle. “We must really recognize our sins, and not present ourselves with a false image”.

“Brothers, we have a treasure: the Saviour Jesus Christ, the Cross of Jesus Christ is the treasure in which we rejoice”, but let us not forget “to also confess our sins” for it is only in this way “the dialogue is Christian, Catholic, and concrete”. “Jesus Christ did not save us with an idea, or an intellectual programme. He saved us with his flesh, with the concreteness of the flesh. He lowered himself, became man, and was made flesh until the end”. You can only understand a treasure like this if you are transformed into clay vases.



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