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Forgiveness of sins comes only from Jesus, not from our conduct, Pope reminds congregation

April 08, 2014

“Christianity is not a philosophical doctrine,” Pope Francis told his congregation at Mass on April 8. “It’s not a program for life survival, or education, or peacemaking.”

“Christianity is a person, a person raised on the Cross,” the Pope continued. Commenting on the day’s Scripture reading, in which Moses fashioned a bronze serpent, and the Israelites who looked upon it were healed, the Holy Father drew the comparison with Jesus on the Cross, who heals the sins of his people. “In the desert sin was lifted up, but it is a sin that seeks salvation,” the Pontiff said.

“It is impossible for us to free ourselves from sin by ourselves,” the Pope emphasized. He observed that many leaders of the Israeli people, including at the time of Christ, believed that they could achieve forgiveness by following a code of conduct. The Pope stressed that we can be delivered from our sins only when we lift our eyes to Jesus, and realize that He has taken our sins upon Himself, so that “your wounds will be healed, your sins will be forgiven.”


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  • Posted by: bruno - Apr. 09, 2014 6:31 PM ET USA

    The Holy Father's homily seemed very much to the point and in concert with the readings of the day. I rejoice that we can share this much with our separated brothers. The pope here offers a meditation on the difference between the Christian faith and society at large.

  • Posted by: loumiamo7154 - Apr. 08, 2014 6:11 PM ET USA

    I read both links re the Pope's homily, and as a good Catholic who accepts 100% of the Church's teaching, I'm wondering why the Pope couldn't find a few words to explain how the Cath Church, established by Jesus Himself, fits into the message of Jesus and His Cross, and how the Cath Church is NOT a collection of New Test pharisees. His homily was the same one that protestant televangelists give every week, that all u need is Jesus and what He did on the cross, u don't need the Cath Church.