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Pope Francis at morning Mass: we are made new in Christ


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis celebrated Mass on Thursday morning in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae residence in the Vatican. In his remarks following the readings, the Holy Father focused on the universal call to holiness. Listen: RealAudioMP3

“We have been re-made i​nChrist! What Christ has done in us is a re-creation: the blood of Christ has re-created. It is a second creation! If before the whole of our life: our body, our soul, our habits, were on the road of sin, iniquity; after this re-creation we must make the effort to walk on the path of righteousness , sanctification – use this word: holiness. All of us were baptized: at that mometn, our parents - we were just children - made the act of faith in our name: ‘I believe in Jesus Christ,’ who has forgiven us our sins’ I believe in Jesus Christ.”

The Pope went on to say that we must make this faith our own and let it be the lode star of our lives. “To live as Christians,” he said, “is to bring forth this faith in Christ, this re-creation,” and with faith carry on the works that arise from this faith - works of holiness. He said that we must carry forward, “the first sanctification that we all received in Baptism.”:

“Really we are weak and many times, many times , we commit sins, imperfections - and is this the way of sanctification? Yes and no! If you get used to it: 'My life is a bit so-so… I believe in Jesus Christ, but I live the way I want to’ Oh , no, that will not sanctify, that is wrong! It is a contradiction! If, however, you say, ‘I, even I am a sinner, I am weak,’ and if you go always to the Lord and say: ‘But, Lord, You have the strength, give me faith! You can make me clean,’ [and if] you let yourself be healed in the Sacrament of Reconciliation – yes, even our imperfections are used along the way of sanctification. But it is always a question of ‘before’ and ‘after’.”

“Before the Act of Faith, prior to acceptance of Jesus Christ, who has created us anew with His own blood,” explained Pope Francis, “we were on the road of injustice.” After Baptism and the Act of Faith, however, “we are on the path of sanctification, but we must take it seriously!” The Holy Father added that to take it seriously, we must do works of righteousness, “simple” works: “Worship God,” he said, “God is always first! And then do what Jesus advises us to help others.” The Pope said that these and similar works, “are the works that Jesus did in his life: the works of justice, works of re-creation.” “When we give food to a hungry person,” he said, “we re-create hope in him. So it is with others.” If, on the other hand, “we accept the faith and then do not live it, we are Christians only in memory.”:

“Without this awareness of the before and after of which Paul speaks to us, our Christianity does not help anyone! More to this: it takes us on the road of hypocrisy. ‘I call myself a Christian, but live like a pagan!’ Sometimes we say ‘Christians at half-speed’, who do not take this seriously. We are holy, justified, sanctified by the blood of Christ: Take this sanctification and carry it forward! Though people do not take it seriously! Lukewarm Christians: ‘But, yes, yes , but, no, no’. Neither here nor there - as our mothers said, ‘rosewater Christians’ - no! A little touch here and there, of Christian paint, a little ‘paint catechesis’ - but inside there is no true conversion, there is no such conviction as that of St.Paul: ‘Everything I gave up and I consider garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him.’”

This, he said, “was Paul's passion and that is the passion of a Christian!” We must, he continued, “let go of everything that takes us away from Jesus Christ,” and make all things anew: everything is new in Christ!” “You can do it!” encouraged Pope Francis, “as did St. Paul and also many Christians,” not only the saints we know - even the anonymous saints: those who live Christianity seriously. The Pope said tha the question for us today is whether we want to live our Christianity seriously - if we want to pursue this re-creation. He invited all of us to ask St. Paul to intercede for us to obtain the gift of grace to live as Christians seriously, “to believe that we truly have been sanctified by the blood of Jesus Christ.”