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The Lord loved this word and repeated it often: Pope speaks of what makes us Christians


“I ask the Lord to teach us this wisdom so that we remain in Him and teach us this intimacy with the Spirit.”

Jesus often repeats one counsel: Remain in me. In the Gospel for April 1, he says it again: “If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples,” and this was the focus of Pope Francis’ homily in the Casa Santa Marta.

Jesus returned to this word that he loved so much he repeated it many times, also in the Last Supper: Remain. Remain in me. Remain in the Lord. 

The Holy Father noted that Jesus doesn’t recommend careful study, but instead goes to what is most important, “what is most dangerous for our lives if we don’t do it.”

“If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples.”

Pope Francis noted how Jesus makes this “remaining in him” the way to have a Christian identity.

Christian identity is not a card that says, “I’m a Christian,” Francis said. “No. It is discipleship. You, if you remain in the Lord, in the Word of the Lord, in the life of the Lord, will be a disciple. If you don’t remain [in Him], you will be one who appreciates the doctrine, someone who follows Jesus as a man who did so much charity work, who was so good, who had correct values … but discipleship is the true identity of the Christian.”

I ask the Lord to teach us this wisdom so that we remain in Him and teach us this intimacy with the Spirit. The Holy Spirit gives us freedom. And this is the anointing. The one who remains in the Lord is a disciple, and the disciple is an anointed one, anointed by the Spirit, one who has received the anointing of the Spirit and brings it to fulfillment. This is the path that Jesus shows us for freedom and also for life. And discipleship is the anointing that those who remain in the Lord receive.

May the Lord teach us this, which is not easy to understand … because the doctors didn’t understand it. It’s not understood only with the head; it’s understood with the head and the heart, this wisdom of the anointing of the Holy Spirit that makes us disciples. 

Pope Francis’ prayer intention for Mass was “for all who work in the media, who work to communicate.” They are working, he said, “so that people are not so isolated; for the education of children, to help us to bear this time of isolation.”


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