By Carol Glatz
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The church doesn’t need couch-potato Catholics, it needs believers with “apostolic zeal,” willing to preach the uncomfortable words of Christ, Pope Francis said.
“And if we annoy people” with this zeal for Christ, then “blessed be the Lord,” he said in his daily morning Mass homily May 16.
The pope celebrated Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where he lives, for employees of Vatican Radio and the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. The pope concelebrated the Mass with Cardinal Peter Turkson and Bishop Mario Toso, respectively president and secretary of the justice and peace council.
In his homily, the pope talked about the day’s reading from the Acts of the Apostles. St Paul caused a near riot during his trial in Jerusalem when he addressed a group of men divided over the belief in the resurrection of the dead.
“Paul is a nuisance” in his preaching, his work and his attitude, the pope said, “because he proclaims Jesus Christ.”
Evangelization “makes us uncomfortable; many times our comfort zones, even Christian comfort zones, are bothered” by it, he said.
God wants people to always move forward, even despite the trials and obstacles, and to not “take refuge in an easy life or in a cozy world.”
St. Paul, by preaching the Lord, “annoyed people,” but he kept at it “because he had that very Christian attitude inside of apostolic zeal, he had real apostolic fervor,” the pope said.
“He wasn’t a man of compromise. No. The truth goes forward, proclaiming Jesus Christ goes forward,” he said.
Apostolic zeal is not a drive for power, to obtain things, the pope said, but “something that comes from inside that the Lord wants from us.”
It does not come from any intellectual or scientific knowledge of Jesus, though “that is important because it helps us.” Rather, this zeal comes from a real living, personal encounter with the Lord.
But going forward and sharing Jesus with the world meant St. Paul always found himself in trouble, not because he wanted to create trouble, but it was trouble for God’s sake, Pope Francis said.
Though apostolic zeal happens with love, there is “something crazy” about it, “a spiritual craziness, a healthy craziness.”
Apostolic zeal is not just for missionaries, it is for everyone, the pope said, and he asked that people pray to the Holy Spirit for this gift.
There are “lukewarm Christians” in the church who “don’t feel like going forward,” he said.
“There are even couch-potato Christians, right? Those who are well-mannered, all perfect, but they don’t know how to bring people to the church” with evangelization and zeal.
“Today let us ask the Holy Spirit to give this apostolic fervor to all of us and also the grace to be a nuisance to the things that are too quiet in the church” and go to the “outskirts” of life, he said.
it it very true what Pope Francesco said. but it goes deeper that! The priest are afraid to speak up, they fear that the people will stop coming to church,and loose revenues!
they need to speak about abortions, homosexuality, and what is a real family!
Actually, I’m not so sure about that. Of course it would be the normal thought, but I think the people want priests who will speak up, get excited about our faith instead of highfalutin’ homilies that no one understands. I think they want priests with backbones who will talk about the very things you mention.
What I would like to see is not only priests who do the heavy lifting so to speak, but laity who are also willing to live their lives out loud. I would like to see laity and priests work together to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to the people in our own neighborhoods. . .
Blessings to you Frank
I am really excited about our new pope. My excitement is renewed every time I read something he has said, hopefully his papacy will be effective in renewing our Church.
How can I get this and other sermons that I can print? Amen…Let’s pray the People listen and respond and the Holy Spirit recharges and renews the Church. We have been blessed with our last 3 Popes and Pope Francis is just what we need…and the world needs.
A real catholic should be always the sign of contradiction to the world of sin…
Pope Francis shares helpful and really insightful messages that everyone can relate to. Every time he says something, it is always easy to understand and always has brilliant meaning in it. This will definitely help the Church and it’s people. 🙂
3 years later, Pope Francis is Not ” So Easy to Understand ” ; I Just Wish he would speak Clearly and let his ” Yes be Yes and his No, No ” ; instead of being Vague, Trying to ” keep Everybody hanging in there ” Believe he Agrees with them! Ed
Does the Catholic Church preach that there is a Pre-Tribulation? Curious thought I’d ask And also,.I know i haven’t seen the *Pre*-Tribulation mentioned anywhere in the KJB 1611 version. And i was really surprised to not find the word Rapture written anywhere in the Bible either…Just Jesus will be joined in the sky with His Elect!! *After* the Tribulation…I do know that Tribulation & Wrath do not mean the same! Yet when you ask some ministers to show you where in the Bible does it say that the Elect will be taken up with Jesus, as in a Rapture *before* tribulation? They cannot, they always want to go to a scripture about God’s Wrath and answer you?. Not true as far as what the Bible say’s in Matthew 24, Christians that live into The tribulation will go through it same as all the sinners on this earth will..There has to be One World Order to take place and One religion for all put into place, and also,The Anti Christ will reign!! He’ll show hate for all Christians, and want Us dead because we won’t take His Mark and follow Him!!.Which I would never take Myself…i would never deny My God for Satan and His Demons…