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Pope Francis challenges Christians who are 'always in mourning'

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
July 2nd, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Pope Francis called out two kinds of Christians who he says are not really Christians despite the label. During morning Mass, the Holy Father identified Christians whose faith does not rest upon the rock of Jesus, and those who are always in mourning. 

VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - The Holy Father spoke during homily, "Many are not Christians, but they disguise themselves as Christians," he said of those whose faith is not grounded in Jesus. "And there are those who believe that the Christian life is to be taken so seriously that end up confusing solidity, firmness, with rigidity. They are rigid! They think that to be a Christian they must be in perpetual mourning"

Pope Francis was commenting on the Gospel passage in Matthew 7:24-27 where Christ talked about houses built on foundations of sand and stone. "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."

"In the history of the Church there have been two classes of Christians: Christians of words - those 'Lord, Lord, Lord' - and Christians of action, in truth. There has always been the temptation to live our Christianity not on the rock that is Christ. The only one who gives us the freedom to say 'Father' to God is Christ, our rock. He is the only one who sustains us in difficult times, no? As Jesus said: the rain falls, rivers overflow, winds blow, but the rock is safe, words, the words take flight, they are not needed. But this is the temptation of these Christians of words, of a Christianity without Jesus, a Christianity without Christ. And this has happened and is happening today in the Church: being Christians without Christ."

Pope Francis said the first type of Christian is essentially "gnostic," living a superficial Christian life and with a superficial happiness. The second type is mired in misery and suffering, "staring at their feet." 

Neither type knows the true joy of Christ. 

Pope Francis explained, "they are not Christians, they disguise themselves as Christians. They do not know what the Lord is, they do not know what the rock is, do not have the freedom of Christians. To put it simply, they have no joy."

He concluded saying, "The former have a 'superficial' happiness. The others live in perpetual state of mourning, but do not know what Christian joy is. They do not know how to enjoy the life that Jesus gives us, for they know not to talk to Jesus. They do not feel that they rest on Jesus, with that firmness which the presence of Jesus gives. And they not only have no joy, they have no freedom either. They are the slaves of superficiality, of this life widespread, and the slaves of rigidity, they are not free. The Holy Spirit has no place in their lives. It is the Spirit who gives us the freedom! Today, the Lord calls us to build our Christian life on Him, the rock, the One who gives us freedom, the One who sends us the Spirit that keeps us going with joy, on His journey, following His proposals."


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