Pope Francis calls for humility

Faith, Normal

The National, Thursday February 13th, 2014

 IN his daily Mass, Pope Francis spoke about the witness of John the Baptist, highlighting how he lived and died with humility and urging all to follow in his example.

“Do we go on the path of Jesus Christ? The path of humiliation, of humility, of lowering for the sake of service?” the Pope said.

Centring his reflections on the Gospel passage from John which recounts the death of John the Baptist, he noted how Herod decided to kill the prophet simply to satisfy the whims of his mistress and her daughter.

Emphasising how John’s life ends as a prisoner in the court of Herod “who was in a banquet”, the Pope explained that “when there is a court, it is possible to do all sorts of things: corruption, vices, crimes.”

Courts encourage this kind of behavior, he said, but “What did John do? First he announced the Lord. He announced that the Savior was close, that the Kingdom of God was close.

“He did it with strength. He baptised and exhorted all to convert. He was a strong man. He announced Jesus Christ.”

Pope Francis recalled how when the Pharisees saw his strength and that he was “a righteous man,” they asked John if he was the Messiah.

John, he said, in that “moment of temptation and vanity,” could have responded with “false humility” saying that he didn’t know. 

His answer was: “No! I’m not! After me comes he who is mightier than I, that I am not worthy to bend over and loosen the thongs of his sandals.”