January 19, 2014

Positivity: Be true witnesses rather than ‘pure legalists,’ Pope exhorts

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Vatican City:

Jan 14, 2014 / 10:50 am

In his daily homily, Pope reflected on different models of Christian witness, cautioning the faithful against hypocrisy when they evangelize, and encouraging them to imitate Jesus.

“Let us ask the Lord that these two readings help us in our lives as Christians,” said the Pope in reference to the day’s scripture passages, and let us learn “not to be pure legalists, hypocrites like the scribes and Pharisees…but to be like Jesus, with that zeal to seek the people.”

During his Jan. 14 homily given in the Vatican’s Saint Martha guesthouse, Pope Francis used the characters in the day’s readings to develop the theme of Christian witness, highlighting how the attitudes portrayed display four different types of believers.

Focusing on Eli the priest from the first reading, his sons who were also priests, the scribes and on Jesus, the pontiff explained that the Lord’s attitude is one of teaching with authority, while the others bound their people with heavy burdens.

“It is Jesus himself who says that (the scribes) did not move these things even with a finger, right?” the Pope explained, “And then He will say to people: ‘Do what they say but not what they do!’”

The scribes, he noted, are “incoherent people,” adding that it often seems “that these scribes and Pharisees are always beating on the (regular folks).”

However, the pontiff explained that “Jesus told them…that in this way, they closed the door to the Kingdom of Heaven, (as if to say), ‘You don’t let others enter, and so neither will you yourselves gain entrance.’”

“This is how some people teach, preach and witness the faith…and how many people out there think that the faith really is as they present it.” …

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