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Pope Francis: "Be Christians and Give Witness to the Faith"
Pontiff Reflects on Christ's Call to "Enter By the Narrow Door"
By Junno Arocho Esteves
VATICAN CITY, August 26, 2013 (Zenit.org) - Jesus does not exclude sinners, on the contrary he "prefers sinners" to forgive them. Pope Francis emphasized this during his Sunday Angelus address to the thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square.
Reflecting on Sunday's Gospel, which recounted Jesus' response to the question on who will be saved, the Holy Father stated that Christ does not focus on how many will be saved, but rather, how to know the way to salvation.
"Try to enter by the narrow door, because many will try to enter but will not succeed," the Gospel of Luke states was Jesus response.
"What does Jesus wish to say? What is the door by which we should enter? And why does Jesus talk about a narrow door?," the Holy Father asked. "The image of the door appears various times in the Gospel and reminds us of the door of a house, of the domestic hearth, where we find security, love, warmth. Jesus tells us that there is a door that permits us to enter into God's family, in the warmth of the house of God, into communion with him. This door is Jesus himself.
The Door of Faith
Pope Francis told the faithful that no one is excluded from entering this door, even those feel that they are excluded because of their sins.
"One might try to tell me: 'But, Father, surely I am excluded, because I am a great sinner: I have done ugly things, many ugly things in my life.' No, you are not excluded!," the Pope exclaimed.
"Precisely because of this you are preferred, because Jesus prefers the sinner, always, to forgive them. Jesus is always waiting for you, to embrace you, to forgive you. Do not be afraid: he is waiting for you. Wake up, take heart to enter his door. Everyone is invited to enter by this door, to enter the door of faith, to enter into his life, and to let him enter our life, so that he transform it, renew it, give us complete and lasting joy. "
The Gospel, he continued, calls on all of us to reflect on which door we wish to enter. The 76 year old Pontiff encouraged the faithful to not be afraid "to enter the door of faith in Jesus" and allow him to enter in our lives. In doing so, one leaves behind their selfishness and indifferent to others while illuminating their lives.
"It is not fireworks, it is not a flash! No, it is a tranquil light that lasts forever and gives us peace. This is the light that we encounter if we enter the door of Jesus," the Holy Father said.
Concluding his address, Pope Francis stated that Christ's message in the Gospel is that being a Christian is not having a label, but rather, to be a Christian is to be in the truth.
"Each one answer for himself! Never Christians by label!," the Pope exclaimed. "Christians in truth and of the heart. Be Christians and witness to the faith in prayer, in works of charity, in promoting justice, in doing good. Our whole life must pass through the narrow door that is Christ."
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