This is the second time that Pope Francis has insisted on the impossibility of being a follower of Christ while rejecting the Church. The first time was less than a year ago and we posted the relevant sermon on our website here. This morning at his Mass he has repeated the same truth here in his homily on the Gospel story where Jesus, at a father’s pleading, cures the boy possessed:
AsiaNews’ account: Jesus always forgives, and his acts [of forgiveness] become “revolutionary” or “inexplicable” when they reach those who [seem to us to be too far gone], like Matthew the tax collector or his colleague, Zacchaeus. Christ’s healing acts always lead people “home” – and thus it is impossible to understand Jesus without the People of God. “It is,” he said, “an absurdity to love Christ without the Church, to feel Christ but not the Church, to follow Christ from the outskirts of the Church.” “Christ and the Church are united,” he said. “Whenever Christ calls a person, He brings that person to the Church.” For this, said Pope Francis, “it is good [that a child] “come to be baptized in Church – Mother Church”.
“And these, Jesus’ gestures of so much tenderness make us realize this: that our doctrine, let us say, or our following Christ, is not an idea. It is a constant abiding at home – and though each of us has the opportunity and the real experience of leaving home for a sin, a mistake – God knows – salvation [means] going home with Jesus in the Church. These are gestures of tenderness. One by one, the Lord is calling us as well, to His people, into His family, our mother, the Holy Church. Let us think on these acts of Jesus”.