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Christian communities should be places of peace, Pope says

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In his daily Mass homily yesterday at the chapel of the St. Martha Residence in the Vatican, Pope Francis said that our Christian communities should be places of peace where, like the very first believers, Christians are "of one heart and mind." In the community of the earliest Christians, the Pope said, "there was no room for gossip, envy, calumnies, defamation.” The Holy Father said that based on these characteristics, we can ask whether members of the community are living an authentically Christian life. “Are they meek, humble? Do they vie for power between each other in that community? Are there envious quarrels? Is there gossip? This feature is so important, so important, because the devil always tries to divide us. He is the father of division.”

The Holy Father also said that another way that we can tell whether a community is really living the Christian life is how they bear witness to the Resurrection. “Does this community give witness to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ? Does this parish, this community, this diocese really believe that Jesus Christ is Risen? Or rather: ‘Yes, He is Risen, but only here,’ because they only believe here, in their hearts far removed from this force,” the Pope illustrated. The Holy Father also said that a real Christian community can be discerned by how it treats the poor. "Is our community poor in heart, poor in spirit? Or does it place its trust in riches? In power?” Francis asked, saying that Christian communities can be discerned by “harmony, witness, poverty and care for the poor.”

“This is what Jesus explained to Nicodemus: This comes from above. Because the only one who can do this is the Holy Spirit. This is the work of the Spirit,” the Pontiff preached. “The Church is built up by the Spirit who creates unity and leads us to witness.” The Holy Father ended his message by praying that all would be aided by the Holy Spirit “to walk on this path reborn through the power of Baptism.”

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