During Mass and Regina Caeli Address, Francis Clarifies What Being a Christian ‘Really Means’
More than any other characteristic, joining our lives completely to the Lord is what makes us true Christians. Pope Francis stressed this as he closed out the Easter Season this Pentecost Sunday in the Vatican.
During his homily at Mass this morning in St. Peter’s Basilica, the Holy Father reminded the faithful that the central purpose of Jesus’ mission “was to renew our relationship with the Father, a relationship severed by sin, to take us from our state of being orphaned children and to restore us as his sons and daughters!”
This mission, he stressed, was culminated in the gift of the Holy Spirit.
“The entire work of salvation is one of ‘re-generation,’ in which the fatherhood of God, through the gift of the Son and the Holy Spirit, frees us from the condition of being orphans into which we had fallen.”
Nowadays, the Pope pointed out, we see various signs of ‘our being orphans,’ such as “in the interior loneliness which we feel even when we are surrounded by people, a loneliness which can become an existential sadness, in the attempt to be free of God, even if accompanied by a desire for his presence, and in the all-too-common spiritual illiteracy which renders us incapable of prayer.”
Being children of God, Francis went on to explain, runs contrary to all this and is our primordial vocation.
Being God’s Child Is In Your DNA
“We were made to be God’s children, it is in our DNA. But this filial relationship was ruined and required the sacrifice of God’s only-begotten Son in order to be restored. From the immense gift of love which is Jesus’ death on the cross, the Holy Spirit has been poured out upon humanity like a vast torrent of grace. Those who by faith are immersed into this mystery of regeneration are reborn to the fullness of filial life.”
Holy Spirit’s Work
In his Regina Caeli address,the Holy Father stressed that, “Every time that the word of Jesus is greeted with joy in our hearts, this is the work of the Holy Spirit.”
The Spirit which teaches us all things, Francis explained, highlights that which we are called to do: ‘to love as God loves.’
“In fact, to be a Christian does not primarily mean to belong to a certain culture or adhere to a certain doctrine, but rather to join one’s own life, in all its aspects, to the person of Jesus and, through Him, to the Father,” he said.
As usual, Pope Francis concluded, imparting his blessing upon those present, asking them to pray for him, and wishing them a good lunch and Sunday.