By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
3/15/2013 (3 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Pope Francis delivered a powerful message to the Church at his first public mass on Thursday, warning against temptations and saying the church could just become another charitable group if it did not remain faithful to its true mission.
Holy Father Francis at his first public Mass.
VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - A pope of many firsts, and known for his humility, delivered a powerful message to the Church on Thursday saying that it must stick to its roots, the Gospel of Christ, while resisting modern temptations, or else it would become just another charitable organization.
Speaking in fluent Italian, he said, "We can walk all we want, we can build many things, but if we don't proclaim Jesus Christ, something is wrong. We would become a compassionate NGO and not a Church which is the bride of Christ."
Pope Francis is being closely watched by the rest of the world. It is believed he may being a new age of austerity and simplicity to the Papacy and the Church as a whole, in a time where the laity has sometimes criticized the Church for its opulence. Francis sounded more like a parish priest than anything, delivering a simple homily with a basic message.
"When we walk without the cross, when we build without the cross and when we proclaim Christ without the cross, we are not disciples of the Lord. We are worldly. We may be bishops, priests, cardinals, popes, all of this, but we are not disciples of the Lord," he said.
Pope Francis has already electrified the Church. From refusing to stand on a platform to elevate himself above others at his presentation, to his humble lifestyle as a cardinal, the people of the Church are amazed at his habits. After his election as Pope, he went to pray at a local basilica, then returned to a hostel where he was sleeping prior to the conclave. He paid the bill in person.
His leadership by example is undoubtedly renewing the faith of millions who have wanted to see refreshment and renewal in the office of the Holy See. Now, they have it.
Pope Francis, in taking the name Francis, made clear that he would be moving the Church in a new direction, towards greater humility and change. He has washed and kissed the feet of AIDS victims and likes to ride public transportation, and even cook his own meals.
Reports from cardinals suggest that he was just the man they were looking for. Pope Francis is humble and spiritual, and his calling by God to the papacy is no accident. It appears the Cardinals listened to both the people of the Church as well as the voice of the Holy Spirit.
The Church has done well, and under the guidance of Pope Francis, it is prayed that it will once again flourish in ways unimagined.
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