Pope in the Audience: Who closes companies for economic maneuvers commits a serious sin
The weekly catechesis at the Vatican began with this poignant scene.
This group of people could not contain their emotion to be able to greet Pope Francis. They were waving flags from China, a country where Christians must live their faith in difficult conditions.
During the audience, the pope warned against a hypocritical charity, which seeks self-interest instead of a sincere love.
POPE FRANCIS "Hypocrisy can be insinuated everywhere, also in our way of loving. 'Ah, how great I am!' This is hypocrisy. How can we be sure that our love is sincere, that our charity is authentic, that we are not pretending or that our love is like a soap opera?"
Pope Francis explained that sincere charity is lived by those who have experienced the mercy of God. They know what it means to receive love for free, despite the mistakes they may have made in their lives. This, he said, is the secret of Christian joy.
POPE FRANCIS "Because we know that in every circumstance, even in the most difficult, and also in spite of our own failures, the love of God never lessens."
The pope spoke with a harsh tone while greeting the Italian pilgrims, and without neglecting the theme of charity, he spoke precisely of an example of what charity is not. He greeted a group of employees from an Italian company that is firing its staff despite already existing profits. Pope Francis appealed to social responsibility and also gave a warning.
POPE FRANCIS "Those who for economic advancements in business are not completely clear and close factories, close companies, and take away the work of people; this person commits a grave sin."
Before leaving, he recalled again that Lent is not so much a fast from food as a fast from bad habits that hurt others.
Pope Francis warns of a hypocritical charity at General Audience
In his catechesis in the Wednesday General Audience, the pope warned about an insincere and hypocritical love or charity one shows to another. He said the "grace” of charity is a result of God's "unconditional love” shown to mankind, who then are called to be "witnesses of this love to others.”
Pope Francis said that the virtue of hope brings great joy to the "daily exercise of charity” and this charity can "draw others to the merciful love of the Father.”
SUMMARY OF CATECHESIS IN ENGLISH
"Dear Brothers and Sisters:
In our continuing catechesis on Christian hope, today we consider the joy that hope brings to our daily exercise of charity. We know how difficult it is to love as our Lord commands us, and how often our love can be tainted by self-interest. It is important to remember that love – charity – is a grace, the fruit of our saving encounter with God’s own love.
Saint Paul reminds us that the Lord’s grace forgives our sins, heals our hearts and enables us to become channels of his own unconditional love. Our efforts to love our brothers and sisters with a pure and disinterested love are really our response to the love we have been shown in Christ.
Conscious of our human weakness, let us ask our Lord daily to renew the gift of His love within us and to enable us to be witnesses of that love to others, especially those in greatest need. In this way, we will fulfill the Apostle’s command to "rejoice in hope” (Rom 12:12), as we strive to grow in the life of charity and to draw others to the merciful love of the Father.
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, particularly the groups from England, Sweden, Canada and the United States of America. I offer a special welcome to the many student groups present. With prayerful good wishes that this Lent will be a time of grace and spiritual renewal for you and your families, I invoke upon all of you joy and peace in our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you all!."
Shocking excitement of Chinese pilgrims on seeing Pope Francis
After crossing the square, the pope greeted this group of pilgrims from China when he stopped the popemobile.
They were very excited. A father and his son approached Pope Francis to ask for his blessing. The pope kissed the little boy, who was in the arms of his father, who was crying and then knelt to kiss the ground.
Then other people came, also crying and full of emotion, and asked him to bless a figure of Our Lady of Fatima. Pope Francis embraced them, kissed them and gave them his blessing.
All reports and videos with very kind permission from Rome Reports TV News Agency