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There is no Christian without Jesus

Saturday, 7 September 2013


(by L'Osservatore Romano, Weekly ed. in English, n. 37, 11 September 2013)


There is no Christian without Jesus. And Jesus is not present if a “Christian” listens to commands that do not lead to him or do not come from him. Pope Francis, at Mass on Saturday, 7 September, at Santa Marta insisted on the Christocentric nature of our faith. And he warned Christians not to follow private revelations unless they lead to Christ.

The Gospel passage that day (Lk 6:1-5) told of Jesus with the pharisees, who were criticizing the apostles for having violated the sabbath by picking the heads of grain and eating them.

In this passage Jesus, the Pontiff said, “says: I am the Lord, Lord also of the sabbath. In another part he will, the sabbath was made for man and not man for the sabbath. His centrality is also the Christian’s centrality in regard to many things. Jesus is the core, he is Lord”. This “we don’t understand very well”, because “it is not easy to understand”. We only know that “he is the Lord”, his is “the power, the glory, the victory. He alone is Lord”.

Citing the Letter of St Paul to the Colossians (1:21-23) the Holy Father talked about what the Apostle said: that Jesus reconciled us “in his body of flesh by his death — he reconciled us all — in order to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him; provided that you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast”. Jesus is the centre and he regenerates us and grounds us in faith. But “the pharisees instead put the law at the centre of their religiosity. And Jesus says: they are laying burdens on people’s shoulders”.

If Jesus is not at the centre, the Pontiff said, “other things are”. And today “we encounter many Christians without Christ. For example, those like the Pharisees, Christians who put their faith, their religiosity, their Christianity, in laws: I must do this, I must do that. They are Christians out of habit”, but in fact, “they do not know why they do it”.

Pope Francis wondered: “Where is Jesus?”. There are so many Christians without Christ, like those “who seek out only devotions, but no Jesus. There is something missing, my brother! Jesus is missing. If your devotions lead you to Jesus, then they are good. But if they leave you where you are, then something is wrong”.

There is another group of “Christians without Christ: those who seek out novelties, special things, they seek out private revelations”, though revelation was fulfilled with the New Testament. The Holy Father warned these Christians against the desire to go “to some kind of revelation spectacle, to feel new things. Take up the Bible instead!”.

What then is the rule for being a Christian with Christ? And what is the “sign” that someone is in fact a Christian with Christ? It is simple, the Pope explained: “whatever leads you to Jesus is valid, and only what comes from Jesus is valid. Jesus is the centre”. And the “sign”, he said, is “a man or a woman who adores Jesus is a Christian with Jesus. If you can’t worship Jesus, something is missing”. The rule is to “follow what comes from Jesus and to do what leads to Jesus. The sign is adoration of Jesus, prayer and adoration before Jesus”.



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