During his homily on Thursday morning at the Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis reflected upon Christian love as written in the First Letter of John, and according to Vatican News the Pontiff has stated it “is not the love of soap operas.”
Pope Francis’ popularity has grown in part through his charismatic way of relating the Gospel to the modern world, and in Thursday’s homily the Holy Father did as much when he explained Christian love. The head of the Catholic Church enlightened the faithful and detailed Christian love as a solid and selfless ideal through the Gospel and the daily readings.
The first criterion: to love with deeds, not words. Words are taken away by the wind. They are here today. Tomorrow they are not. The second criterion of concreteness is: in love it is more important to give than to receive. The one who loves, gives...gives things, gives life, gives oneself to God and to others. On the other hand, [is] the one who does not love, who is selfish, always seeks to receive, always seeks to have things, to have advantages. Stay with an open heart, not like that of the disciples, which was closed, which did not understand anything: remaining in God and God remaining in us; remaining in love.
Pope Francis referrenced to the First Letter of John and preached the love within us is that of the Lord, and not one made up of “soap operas.”
You see that the love John speaks of is not the love of soap operas. No, it is something else. Christian love has a particular quality: concreteness. Christian love is concrete. Jesus Himself, when He speaks of love, speaks to us about concrete things: feeding the hungry, visiting the sick, and many concrete things. Love is concrete...And when this concreteness is not there, you can live a Christianity of illusions, because you don’t understand where the center of Jesus' message is. This love does not arrive at concrete being: it is a love of illusions, like the illusions the disciples had when, looking at Jesus, they thought He was a ghost.
Pope Francis referred to the Holy Gospel according to Mark 6:45-52 when the disciples were terrified of the image of Jesus on the water. The Holy Father's emphasis on helping the poor and sick is his modus operandi, and his words to help others come as no surprise.
Visit Vatican Radio to read the full text of Pope Francis’ homily and his view on Christian love, as well as a complete account of the Pontiff’s daily work.
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