· During the Mass at St Paul-Outside-the-Walls the Pope invites us to rid ourselves of false idols and adore the Lord ·
There is a "middle class of holiness" of which we can all be a part
In order to be credible the Church must show consistency “between word and manner of life”, abandoning the “idols” of ambition, careerism and success, in which we often “base our security”. This is what Pope Francis recommended Sunday afternoon, 14 April, during the first Mass he celebrated in the Basilica of St. Paul-Outside-the-Walls.
A week after speaking from the pulpit of St. John Lateran, the Bishop of Rome celebrated Mass at the tomb of the Apostle of the Gentiles. And recalling the three verbs – to proclaim, to bear witness, to worship – that have marked St. Paul's experience of faith, he reminded us that it is not enough merely to bring “the Word of God into the environment in which we live”. Above all each one of us must have “the courage to think, choose, and live as a Christian”, even in the circumstances and in the most humble of forms: indeed there is – assured the Pope – a sort of “middle class of holiness” of which “we can all belong”. For this it is necessary to live “an intense relationship with Jesus, an intimacy of dialogue and of life” centred on an experience of worship. This is brought about through abandoning those “small or great idols”, in which we are seeking refuge and following the Lord “with courage and fidelity”. The example of the many Christians still persecuted today, was addressed by the Pope after the Regina Caeli at noon in St. Peter's Square.
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