Pope at Santa Marta: Called to be children of light
(Vatican Radio) At morning Mass on Monday Pope Francis said that a conscientious examination of our words will help us understand whether we are Christians of light, Christians of darkness or Christians of grey areas.
Listen to our report:
Reflecting on the First Reading from St. Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, the Pope said men are recognizable by their words. By inviting Christians to behave as children of light, and not as children of darkness, St. Paul gives “a catechesis on the word”.
Pope Francis continued that there are four [types of ] words which help us understand if we are children of darkness:
“Are our words hypocrisy? Taking a little from here, a little from there, to fit in with everyone? Then they are vacuous, of no substance, empty. Are they vulgar words, trivial, or worldly? A dirty, obscene word? These four [types] of words are not of the children of light, they are not the Holy Spirit, they are not of Jesus, they are not words of the Gospel … this way of talking, always talking about dirty things or of worldliness or emptiness or hypocrisy“.
Then, what are the words of the Saints, those of the children of light?
“Paul says: ‘Be imitators of God, walk in love; walk in goodness; walk in meekness. Those who walk in this way … ‘Be merciful – says Paul – forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ. Be, then, imitators of God and walk in love’, that is, walk in mercy, forgiveness, love. And these are the words of a child of light”.
“There are bright Christians, [who are] full of light – noted the Pope – who seek to serve the Lord in this light” and ” there are dark Christians” who lead “a life of sin, a life distant from the Lord” and who use those four types of words that “belong to the evil one”. “But there is a third group of Christians”, who are not “neither light nor dark”:
“They are the Christians of gray areas. And these Christians of gray areas are on one side first and then the other. People say of these: ‘Is this person with God or the devil?’ Huh? Always in the grey area. They are lukewarm. They are neither light nor dark. And God does not love these. In Revelation, the Lord says to these Christians of gray areas: ‘No, you are neither hot nor cold. If only you were hot or cold. But because you are lukewarm – always in the gray areas- I will vomit you out of my mouth’. The Lord has strong words for these Christians of gray areas. ‘I am a Christian, but without overdoing it!’ they say, and in doing so cause so much harm, because their Christian witness is a witness that in the end only sows confusion, it sows a negative witness“.
Let us not be deceived by empty words – Pope Francis concluded – “we hear so many, some nice, well-articulated, but empty, without meaning”. Instead let us behave as children of light. “It would do us all good to reflect on our words today and ask ourselves: “Am I a Christian of light? Am I a Christian of the dark? Am I a Christian of the gray areas? And thus we can take a step forward to meet the Lord”.