Posted September 09, 2013 in The Pope's Corner:
By Word and By Witness

by Pope Francis.

We should all ask ourselves: how do I bear witness to Christ through my faith? Do I have the courage … to think, to choose and to live as a Christian, obedient to God? To be sure, the testimony of faith comes in very many forms, just as in a great fresco, there is a variety of colours and shades; yet all are important, even those which do not stand out.

In God’s great plan, every detail is important, even yours, even my humble little witness, even the hidden witness of those who live their faith with simplicity in everyday family relationships, work relationships, friendships. There are the saints of every day, the hidden saints, a sort of ‘middle class’ of holiness to which we can all belong. …

Let us remember this: one cannot proclaim the Gospel of Jesus without the tangible witness of one’s life. Those who listen to us and observe us must be able to see in our actions what they hear from our lips, and so give glory to God. Inconsistency on the part of pastors and the faithful between what they say and what they do, between word and manner of life, is undermining the Church’s credibility.…

Jesus Christ has called us, he has invited us to travel his path, he has chosen us. Proclamation and witness are only possible if we are close to him…. This is important for us: living an intense relationship with Jesus, an intimacy of dialogue and of life, in such a way as to recognize him as the Lord, and to worship him. …

Do we turn to God only to ask him for things, to thank him, or do we also turn to him to worship him? What does it mean, then, to worship God? It means learning to be with him, it means sensing that his presence is the most true, the most good, the most important thing of all. Worshiping the Lord means giving him the place that he must have.

This has a consequence in our lives: we have to empty ourselves of the many small or great idols that we have and in which we take refuge, on which we often seek to base our security. They are idols that we sometimes keep well hidden: they can be ambition, a taste for success, placing ourselves at the centre, the tendency to dominate others, the claim to be the sole masters of our lives, some sins to which we are bound. … Worshiping is stripping ourselves of our idols, and choosing the Lord as the centre, as the highway of our lives. …

The Lord sends us to proclaim him with joy as the Risen One; he asks us to do so by word and by the witness of our lives, in daily life.

Excerpted from Pope Francis’ homily April 14, 2013


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