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Pope Francis: Worldy passions keep us from the love of Jesus

© Antoine Mekary/ALETEIA
Pope Francis General Audience April 19, 2017 © Antoine Mekary / ALETEIA

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The pope’s daily homily from Santa Marta

VATICAN CITY — The love of Jesus is limitless, unlike worldly loves that seek power and vanity.

This was Pope Francis’ message today at morning Mass in the chapel of his residence at the Vatican. The pope and emphasized that the Christian mission is to “abide in the love of Jesus” and “to bring people joy.”

In his homily, the pope reflected on Jesus’ words to his disciples: “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you” (John 15:9-11). The Lord, he said, asks us to abide in his love, “because it is the Father’s love,” and he invites us to keep his commandments.

Of course, the pope acknowledged, the Ten Commandments are the foundation, but we also need to follow “all the things that Jesus has taught us, the commandments of daily life” that represent “a Christian lifestyle,” he said.

Worldly “loves” distance us from the love of Jesus

Jesus’s commandments, the pope said, cover a very wide spectrum, but the core is one: “the Father’s love for him, and their love for us.”

“There are other loves. The world itself offers many other loves: love of money for example, vanity, boastfulness, pride, love of power which can even lead to unjust actions to achieve more power… these are not of Jesus and they are not of the Father. He asks us to remain in his love which is the Father’s love. Let us consider these other loves that distance us from the love of Jesus. And also, there are other measures to love: loving half-way, this is not love.”

God’s love is infinite

“What is the measure of love?” Pope Francis asked. “The measure of love,” he said, “is to love without measure.” He continued:

“And so, by keeping the commandments which Jesus gave us, we abide in Jesus’ love and in the Father’s love; it is the same. It is limitless, and is not a tepid or self-interested love. ‘But why, Lord, do you remind us of these things?’ we might say to him. ‘So that my joy may be in you, and your joy might be full.’ … Jesus teaches us the path of love: an open heart, loving without measure, and letting go of other loves.”

Give others joy

Abiding in Jesus’ love brings true joy, the pope said, but we need to ask the Lord for these gifts:

“Not long ago, a priest was appointed as bishop. He went to his father, to his elderly father to give him the news. This elderly man, who was already retired, a humble man, who worked all his life, didn’t go to university, but has wisdom of life. He gave his son only two pieces of advice: ‘Obey and give people joy.’ This man understood this: obey the Father’s love, without other loves; obey this gift and then, give people joy. And we Christians — laity, priests, consecrated, bishops, we must give people joy. But why? For love, without any interests, only for the sake of love. Our Christian mission is to give people joy.”

Pope Francis concluded: “May the Lord watch over this gift of abiding in Jesus’ love, so that we might be able to bring people joy.”

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