To be a Christian isn't easy, but means having faith and striving to live a moral life even when it's hard, trusting in God and his love during moments of weakness and anxiety, Pope Francis said on Sunday. Source: CNA.
“Christianity doesn't offer easy consolations, it's not a shortcut, but requires faith and a healthy moral life which rejects evil, selfishness and corruption,” the Pope said.
A faithful and moral life, he said, “gives us the true and great hope in God the Father, rich in mercy, who has given us his only son, thus revealing to us his immense love.”
Pope Francis spoke to pilgrims in St Peter's Square for his Sunday Angelus address, which he focused on the day's passage from John's Gospel when Jesus speaks to Nicodemus, explaining what will happen to those who believe and walk in truth, and what will happen to those who don't.
Jesus' affirmation that “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him,” synthesise the core of Christian message, Francis said.
Namely, this message is that “even when the situation seems desperate, God intervenes, offering man salvation and joy.” God, the Pope said, doesn't stand aside, but “enters into the history of humanity to animate it with his grace and to save it.”
Christians, he said, are called to listen to this announcement and to reject the temptation to be too sure of themselves, wanting to “do without God,” and be “liberated” from him and his word.
“When we find the courage to consider ourselves for what we are, we realise that we are people called to deal with our fragility and our limits,” he said, noting that at times thinking about these weaknesses can lead people to be anxious for the future, or afraid of illness and death.
This, Francis said, is the reason many people look for “a way out,” turning to “dangerous shortcuts such as the tunnel of drugs, superstitions or ruinous magic rituals.”
However, Christianity offers a different path. Though it's not easy, it leads to hope, he said, and pointed to the image of Jesus on the cross, which he said is the “greatest manifestation of God's love.”