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Pope repeats Christ's caution against false messiahs

November 18, 2013

Christians must not be “deceived by false messiahs” or fearful about the end of the world, Pope Francis told his midday audience on Sunday, November 17.

Citing the day’s Gospel, in which Jesus counsels his disciples not to be worried by wars and natural disasters, the Pope said that the Lord’s words are “a call to discernment.” Just as in the time of Christ, there are many people today who claim to possess special spiritual insights, and many who foresee disasters, the Pope observed. Following Christ’s advice, the faithful should not follow them.

“Jesus liberates us from fatalism and false apocalyptic visions,” the Pope said. “He reminds us that we are entirely in God’s hands.” The key test is to remain close to Jesus Himself, he said, and then ultimate victory is assured. “Stand firm, and you will win life.”

At a time when some people predict trials for the faith, the Pope reminded his audience that some Christians are already facing active persecution. “There are many of them—perhaps more than in the first centuries,” he said. He urged the faithful to pray for those who undergo persecution, but also reminded them: “Jesus is with them.”


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