Christians must be living Gospels, Pope tells Sunday audience
February 10, 2014
At his Angelus audience on Sunday, February 9, Pope Francis said: “We all, as baptized persons, are missionary disciples, and are called to become a living Gospel in the world.”
The Pope devoted most of his audience to a discussion of the day’s Gospel, in which Jesus tells his disciples that they are the salt of the earth and the light of the world. This may seem striking, the Pope remarked, since the disciples were ordinary fishermen. “But Jesus saw them through God’s eyes,” the Holy Father said. The Lord’s statement, he added, must be understood in the light of the Beatitudes.
In the Jewish tradition, the Pope continued, salt accompanies every sacrifice offered to God, and light is “the symbol of the messianic revelation, triumphant over the darkness of paganism.” So in referring to his disciples as salt and light, Jesus is emphasizing their mission to consecrate and convert the world.
Salt brings savor, the Pope reminded his audience, and also helps to protect against corruption. As for light, he said: “If the Christian allows this light to be extinguished, his life no longer has meaning; he is a Christian by name only.”
Later in his Sunday audience, Pope Francis called attention to the upcoming feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, February 11, which is also observed as the World Day for the Sick. He sent his thanks and greetings to health-care professionals and to family members who “encounter in the sick not merely bodies marked by fragility, but also people, to whom appropriate attention and responses must be given.”
Finally, the Pope mentioned the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, saying that he hoped the competition would be “a true celebration of sport and friendship.”
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