Vatican City, Sep 7, 2013 / 10:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his daily homily on Saturday, Pope Francis reflected on the question of authentic Christianity and rejected the practice of focusing more on devotions than on Christ himself.
Jesus is “the center” of faith, said the Pope. “A commandment is valid if it comes from Jesus: I do this because the Lord wants me to do this. But if I am a Christian without Christ, I do this and I don’t know why I have to do it,” he said to the congregation at the Vatican’s Casa Santa Marta on September 7.
Like the Pharisees, he said, there are some people who “make so many commandments the center of their religiosity.”
Others who have a false sense of religiosity “only seek devotions” or “things that are a little uncommon, a little special, that go back to private revelations,” noted Pope Francis.
“If your devotions bring you to Christ, that works. But if you remain there, something’s wrong,” he explained.
“If Jesus is not at the center, there will be many other things,” so that people become “Christians without Christ.”
Remembering that Jesus is the center of faith “regenerates us, grounds us.”
Pope Francis further explained the mark of a true “Christian with Christ.”
“The rule is simple: only that which brings you to Jesus is valid, and only that is valid that comes from Jesus. Jesus is the center, the Lord, as He Himself says.”
Christians can avoid false religiosity by adoring Jesus as “the Lord, the only Lord.”
“If you aren’t able to adore Jesus, you’re missing something,” warned Pope Francis.
The sign of a true “Christian with Christ” is one who does “that which comes from Jesus” and that which leads to Jesus.
Such adoration bears true fruit in the life of a Christian, encouraged the Pope.
He said that Jesus also gives “the grace of loving Him so much, of following Him, of going along the path that He has shown us.”
A “Christian with Christ” has the courage to proclaim Jesus as Lord.
Pope Francis exhorted Catholics not to focus on false piety, but rather evangelize and “take the Gospel!”