Pope at Angelus: Christians choose fidelity to Gospel over hypocrisy

Pope Francis greets the crowd as he leads the Angelus from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Aug. 18. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

VATICAN CITY—Christians must not be hypocrites, Pope Francis said.

Not being a hypocrite, he said, means being ready to “pay the price” of being faithful to the Gospel in concrete situations every day.

Before praying the Angelus with visitors gathered in St. Peter’s Square Aug. 18, Pope Francis reflected on the day’s Gospel reading (Lk 12:49-53) in which Jesus says he has come “to set the earth on fire” and to bring “division,” not peace.

What this means, the pope said, is Jesus has come to separate “good from evil, the just from the unjust. In this respect, he has come to ‘divide,’ to spark a ‘crisis’ — in a healthy way — in the life of his disciples, shattering the simple illusions of those who believe they can combine Christian life and worldliness, Christian life and compromises of all kinds, religious practices and attitudes against one’s neighbor.”

“It is about living not like a hypocrite, but by being willing to pay the price” of making choices that are consistent with the Gospel.

“It’s nice to call oneself a Christian, but it demands, above all, being Christians in concrete situations, giving witness to the Gospel, which essentially is love for God and for one’s brothers and sisters” in the human family, he said.

The pope praised the young people and organizations that help the sick, the poor and differently-abled, especially during the summer.

In order to live according to the spirit of the Gospel, Christians will have to keep making sure they are responding to so many new needs with new forms of charity.

The pope also reminded people, that together with serving others, Christians must also worship God.

“To worship God also means to learn prayers of adoration, which we often forget. That is why I invite everyone to discover the beauty of prayers of adoration and to practice it often,” he said.

By Carol Glatz