Pope Francis: Death, resurrection of Christ centre of salvation

Pope Francis

POPE Francis says St Paul reminds us that the centre of salvation and faith is the death and resurrection of the Lord.
Pope Francis made the remark when he met groups of pilgrims known as the general audience in Rome last Wednesday.
He warned that there were many people today “who still seek religious security rather than the living and true God, focusing on rituals and precepts instead of embracing God’s love with their whole being”.
He said St Paul told the Galatians “to return to what is essential, to the God who gives us life in Christ crucified.”
Pope Francis encouraged people to “place ourselves in front of Christ crucified, including in adoration of the Eucharist, when we feel we are losing the thread in our spiritual life”.
“When we meet Christ crucified, Jesus changes our hearts, which leads us to understand that the Gospel is meant for everyone, not just for a privileged few.
“The life of the community is regenerated and through the Spirit, our lives as Christians are renewed, and we are able to continue to engage in our spiritual battle.”
Pope Francis explained that the works of the flesh were behaviours that were contrary to the Spirit of God.
St Paul does not intend to say that the flesh was evil in itself, but used the term to indicate the condition of being turned in on oneself, “closing the door to the spirit” and reminding us that the things of the world grow old and pass away, “while the Spirit gives life”.
Christians are called to live out our baptismal calling, which leads to the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
Pope Francis invited Christians to read Saint Paul and reflect on their own behaviour to see if we were bearing those fruits.
“The Apostle’s teaching poses quite a challenge for our communities, too,” he said.
“The beauty of faith in Jesus Christ cannot be grasped on the basis of so many commandments or of a moral vision developed in many layers which can make us forget the original fruitfulness of love nourished by prayer from which peace and joyful witness flow.
“Nor can the life of the Spirit be suffocated by a bureaucracy that prevents access to the grace of the Spirit, the initiator of conversion of the heart.
“We have the huge responsibility of proclaiming Christ crucified and risen, enlivened by the breath of the Spirit of love.
“For it is this Love alone that possesses the power to attract and change the human heart.”