Pope: The Church lives among the people and for the people

2015-11-10 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis stressed the need for “the Church to live among the people and for them,” saying it should maintain a healthy contact with reality and peoples’ lives.  Christ’s disciples, he said, “must never forget that they come from the people and must never fall into the temptation of adopting an aloof attitude” and not being concerned about the thoughts and lives of the people. The Pope’s comments came during his homily at an outdoor Mass celebrated in Florence on Tuesday (10th November).

Taking the inspiration for his homily from the St Matthew’s gospel, Pope Francis reminded his listeners that Jesus wanted to know from his disciples what the people were saying about Him in order to communicate with them. He warned that without knowing how people think, “a disciple becomes isolated and begins to judge people according to his own thoughts and convictions.”

For this reason, said the Pope, “a disciple must maintain a healthy contact with reality and with people’s lives with their joys and sorrows,” saying this “is the only way” to be able to help and communicate with them. Christ’s disciples, he stressed, “should never forget from where they have been chosen, namely from among the people, and must never fall into the temptation of adopting an aloof or detached attitude as if the thoughts and lives of the people were not their concern and of no importance for them.”  

Pope Francis said “the Church, like Jesus, lives among the people and for the people” and we need to nurture a personal faith in Him, as the Son of God. Only if we recognize this truth about Jesus, will we be able to see the truth of our human condition and add our contribution “to the full humanization of society.”

The Pope went on to explain that “our joy” is to share this faith, whose truth scandalizes.  We must also “go against the tide” and “overcome the prevailing opinion” of our contemporary society where just as in the past people are unable to recognize Jesus as more than a prophet or teacher.

He said the good that we sow along our path as Christians helps to create “a new and renewed humanity where no one is marginalized or discarded, where the person who serves is the greatest and where the children and the poor are welcomed and helped.” Noting the importance of humanism in the most creative periods of Florence’s history, the Pope noted that this humanity always had a charitable face, and said he prayed for a new humanity both for the city and Italy as a whole. 

Listen to this report by Susy Hodges: 

(from Vatican Radio)