Catholic World News

Focus on the essential message of the faith, Pope tells catechists

September 26, 2016

Pope Francis celebrated a Mass for the jubilee of catechists on September 25 and encouraged them to focus on the proclamation of the Risen Lord.

“We are being asked not to tire of keeping the key message of the faith front and center: the Lord is risen,” the Pope preached to catechists present at the outdoor Mass in St. Peter’s Square. “Nothing is more important, nothing is clearer or more relevant than this.”

He continued:

It is by loving that the God-who-is-Love is proclaimed to the world: not by the power of convincing, never by imposing the truth, no less by growing fixated on some religious or moral obligation. God is proclaimed through the encounter between persons, with care for their history and their journey. Because the Lord is not an idea, but a living person: his message is passed on through simple and authentic testimony, by listening and welcoming, with joy which radiates outward.

The Pope also reflected on the day’s Gospel reading (Lk. 16:19-31), contrasting the blindness, worldliness, and ostentation of the rich man with the quiet dignity of Lazarus.

“From [Lazarus’] mouth no complaints or protests or scornful words issue,” the Pope preached. “This is a valuable teaching: as servants of the word of Jesus we have been called not to parade our appearances and not to seek for glory; nor can we be sad or full of complaints.”

“We are not prophets of gloom who take delight in unearthing dangers or deviations; we are not people who become ensconced in our own surroundings, handing out bitter judgments on our society, on the Church, on everything and everyone, polluting the world with our negativity,” he added. “May the Lord give us the grace to be renewed every day by the joy of the first proclamation to us: Jesus died and is risen, Jesus loves us personally!”

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  • Posted by: Bveritas2322 - Sep. 27, 2016 10:33 AM ET USA

    I wonder if he would have condemned the Sermon on the Mount as "fixated" on morality. I also wonder if he believes the victims of immorality deserve love too.

  • Posted by: koinonia - Sep. 26, 2016 11:01 PM ET USA

    Obligation is a word that has an unambiguous meaning. Things might be lost in translation; translations might be inaccurate or lacking. But the Holy Father's words about "religious or moral obligations" is an ominous one, particularly considering the source. It is important to pray for the Holy Father, and we do not pray enough nor do we consistently think to pray specifically for the Holy Father these days. It would be wise to step it up a bit.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Sep. 26, 2016 2:19 PM ET USA

    I have asked this before, and I must ask it again. What world does Pope Francis live in? Has anyone in this readership _taken delight_ in unearthing dangers or deviations, handing out bitter judgments, polluting the world with his negativity? Have we ever "imposed the truth" on anyone, presumably as a totalitarian dictator would? Have we ever made a false deity of a "religious or moral obligation?" It seems as if the Pope has been living in a totalitarian prison his entire life, and still is.