Wine or Water?
· At the Angelus the Pope warns Christians of the risk of becoming worldly ·
To the faithful gathered in St Peter's Square for the Angelus on Sunday, 31 August, Pope Francis admonished that Christians run the risk of becoming “worldly”. “It is sad”, he said, “to find a 'watered-down' Christian”, who seems like watered-down wine. You can’t tell whether he is Christian or worldly, like watered-down wine, you can’t tell whether it’s wine or water”.
The Pontiff's reflection came from the day's reading from the Gospel of Matthew (16:21-27), “in which the apparent contrast between Jesus’ way of thinking and that of the disciples emerges”, especially that of Peter, who, the Pope explained, “unwittingly played the part of Satan, the tempter”. This aspect is also highlighted in the First Letter of Paul to the Romans, whom Paul invites to follow the “ will of God” without being “conformed to this world” (Rom 12:2). “Indeed”, Pope Francis commented, “we Christians live in the world, fully integrated into the social and cultural reality of our time”. But there is a risk of becoming ‘worldly’, that ‘the salt might lose its taste’. And, he continued, it is “sad to find Christians who are no longer the salt of the earth, and we know that when salt loses its taste, it’s no longer good for anything. Their salt has lost its taste because they are consigned to the spirit of the world, that is, they have become worldly”.
The Holy Father then affirmed the necessity of renewing oneself by “continually drawing sap from the Gospel”, by “reading and meditating” every day on the Word of God”. The Pontiff advised the faithful to “always carry the Gospel with you: a small Gospel, in your pocket, in your bag, and read a passage during the day.”
At the end of the Marian prayer, Francis recalled Italy's celebration of the Day for the Safeguarding of Creation, and appealed to institutions, associations and citizens “that the life and health of the people may be safeguarded, while respecting the environment and nature”. The Pope then wished a “good game” to the soccer players who were to participate in a match for peace in Rome's Stadio Olimpico on Monday evening, 1 September.
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