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Pope: Be careful you are not ‘masquerading’ as a Christian

The Pope preaches at a Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae (CNS)

Catholics should be wary not to simply “masquerade as Christians” said Pope Francis at Mass this morning.

In his homily in the chapel of his residence, the Domus Sanctae Marthae, he said that neither being a Christian without Christ nor being a Christian in a “perpetual state of mourning” can bring true joy.

Reflecting on today’s Gospel reading, he said: “In the history of the Church there have been two classes of Christians: Christians of words – those ‘Lord, Lord, Lord’ – and Christians of action, in truth.”

He said the two types of “Christians of words” were the “gnostics” who favour beautiful words and “Pelagians” who lead “starched” lifestyles. He said that both types masquerade as Christians. The former “float on the surface of Christian life”, he said, and the latter “confuse solidity, firmness, with rigidity”.

According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis urged Christians to resist the temptation of becoming a “superficial Christian”. He explained that Jesus Christ was the foundation of belief, saying: “They do not feel that they rest on Jesus, with that firmness which the presence of Jesus gives. And they not only have no joy, they have no freedom either.”

He concluded his sermon saying: “It is the Spirit who gives us the freedom! Today, the Lord calls us to build our Christian life on Him, the rock, the One who gives us freedom, the One who sends us the Spirit, that keeps us going with joy, on His journey, following His proposals.”