"A faith that does not bear fruit in works is not faith," were the opening word of Pope Francis at Mass at Santa Marta on Friday morning. According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis offered the Mass for the intention of Cardinal Silvano Piovanelli, the emeritus Archbishop of Florence on his 90th birthday. The Pope thanked him for "his work, his witness and his goodness."
While reflecting on the daily readings, Pope Francis stated that the world is full of Christians who recite the words of the Creed while seldom putting them into practice. He told those present that we make a mistake if we say we believe everything but lead a lukewarm, weak life. "This type of faith is just a theory; it is not alive in the person's life," Pope Francis said.
He continued, "We can recite the Creed theoretically, even without faith, and their are many people who do...even the demons! The demons know very well what is said in the Creed and know that it it is the truth. Christians who think of faith as a system of ideas, ideologically, are Christians who know the doctrine but without faith, like demons. The difference is that demons 'tremble', these Christians, no ... they live peacefully."
Pope Francis concluded his homily by saying: "Faith is an encounter with Jesus Christ, with God, from which faith is born, and from there it brings witness. That is what the Apostle means, a faith with works, a faith that does not involve ones whole self, that does not lead to witness, is not faith. It is words... and nothing more than words."