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Pope says Jesus asks us to choose: to be served or to serve

August 19, 2013

Christians face a moral choice, Pope Francis told his Angelus audience on August 18: “to have oneself served or to serve; to obey one’s own ego or to obey God.”

The Pope made his remark in the context of a meditation on the day’s Gospel, in which Jesus said that he was bringing division to the world. The Holy Father explained that Jesus was not encouraging hostility between people, but telling his disciples that they must choose between serving man and serving God.

Christ’s words call for “renunciation of one’s own interests,” the Pope said. The words of Jesus should never be invoked as an excuse for the use of force. “Faith and violence are incompatible,” the Pontiff said. The real strength of the Christian faith, he said, “is the force of the truth and of love.”

At the same time, the Pope continued, the Christian faith makes strong demands on believes. He warned that “living the faith does not mean decorating life with a little religion.”

Before concluding his midday audience the Pope again led the faithful in prayer for peace in Egypt, saying: “Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us.” He also asked prayers for the victims of a ferry disaster in the Philippines.

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  • Posted by: unum - Aug. 20, 2013 10:26 AM ET USA

    The Holy Father speaks with such clarity and simplicity that no one can misunderstand what he is saying or fail to be moved by his words. This is teaching as Jesus did: "The Holy Father explained that Jesus was not encouraging hostility between people, but telling his disciples that they must choose between serving man and serving God. That is, "You are either with me or against me." God bless Pope Francis.

  • Posted by: wsw33410 - Aug. 19, 2013 11:55 AM ET USA

    I found the Pope's other statements even more important: The peace of Christ is neither “neutrality” nor “compromise at all costs”. “living faith does not mean decorating life with a little religion, as if it were a cake and we were decorating it with cream. No, this is not faith”. After Jesus' coming “it is impossible to act as if we did not know God”. Indeed, “God has a real face, he has a name: God is mercy, God is faithfulness, he is life which is given to us all”.