Pope Francis began the week by reminding the faithful to “love like Christ” and turn away from the love of money and power.
In his Regina Caeli address on Sunday, May 9, the pope reminded the pilgrims gathered at St. Peter’s Square that “Jesus asks us to abide in his love,” not in “our own self-worship.”
“To love like Christ means saying ‘no’ to other ‘loves’ that the world offers us: love of money – those who love money do not love as Jesus loves — love of success, vanity, of power,” he said.
Pope Francis said “these deceptive paths of ‘love’ distance us from the Lord’s love and lead us to become more and more selfish, narcissistic, overbearing.”
“And being overbearing leads to a degeneration of love, to the abuse of others, to making our loved ones suffer.”
“Those who dwell in self-worship, live in the mirror, always looking at themselves,” said the pontiff, adding that the love Jesus gives us is “pure, unconditional, freely given love.”
“By giving it to us, Jesus treats us like friends, making us know the Father, and He involves us in His same mission for the life of the world,” he said.
He said that to love the Lord requires one to oneself “at the service of your brothers and sisters, as He did in washing the feet of the disciples.”
“It means making ourselves available, as we are and with what we have. This means to love not in word but in deed.”
“To love as the Lord loves us means to appreciate the people beside us and to respect their freedom, to love them as they are, gratuitously,” he said.
Pope Francis invited all Christians to abide in Jesus’ love “so that our joy may be full.”
“The joy of knowing we are loved by God despite our infidelities enables us to face the trials of life confidently, makes us to live through crises so as to emerge from them better,” he said.
“Our being true witnesses consists in living this joy, because joy is the distinctive sign of a true Christian,” added the pope.
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