Fortune tellers and seers cannot lead people to eternal life, and those who listen to such charlatans are not following Jesus, Pope Francis has said.
Only Jesus, the good shepherd, can “show the way” and lead his flock to true happiness; anyone else is “a thief and a robber,” the Pope said on April 18 in his homily during Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
“Jesus warned us: ‘There will be others who will say the path of the Messiah is this or that,” he said. ‘Do not listen! Do not hear them. I am the way!’ Jesus is the gate and the way; if we follow him, we will not be mistaken.”
The Pope focused his homily on the day’s Gospel reading from St John (10:1-10) in which Jesus refers to himself as “the gate for the sheep.”
“Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber. But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep,” Jesus said in the passage.
Jesus’s use of the “simple imagery” of a shepherd allowed people to understand that one cannot enter into eternal life through “another part that is not the gate, meaning, that is not Jesus.”
“He who follows Jesus is not mistaken!” the Pope said.
“Some people might say, ‘Yes, father, but things are difficult. So many times I don’t see clearly what to do. I was told that there was a seer and I went here or I went there; I went to a fortuneteller, who read the cards.’ If you do this, you do not follow Jesus! You follow another who gives you another path, a different (path),” Francis added.
Pope Francis said there are three ways to distinguish Jesus’s voice from “the voice of those who are not Jesus, those who enter through the window, who are thieves, who destroy, who deceive.”
“I will give you the simple recipe,” the Pope said. Jesus’s voice is heard in the Beatitudes, in the command to feed the hungry and clothe the naked, and in the Lord’s Prayer.
Those who teach anything contrary to the Beatitudes, the works of mercy and praying to God the father as Jesus taught is one who tries to sneak in through a different path, he explained.
“Christian life is that easy. Jesus is the gate; he guides us on the path and we know his voice in the Beatitudes, in the works of mercy and when he teaches us to say ‘Father,'” the Pope said.