Faith without Love and Service is a Dead Faith
A Christian who professes to love but does nothing concrete to demonstrate that love has turned one of the central teachings of faith into an abstraction, Pope Francis said.
A love that does not take flesh like Jesus took flesh, “is not the love that God commands us to have. It’s a worldly love, a philosophical love, an abstract love, a love that is lacking, a soft love,” the pope said during morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where he lives.
“This is our truth: God sent his son; he became incarnate and lived a life like we do,” the pope said.
The truth of Jesus’ earthly, incarnate life means that love lived in his name also must be concrete, the pope said. “Love like Jesus loved. Love like Jesus taught us. Love following the example of Jesus. Love, walking the path of Jesus. The path of Jesus is giving one’s life.”
Pope Francis said that while true Christian love is a mystery, it is not ethereal. It always requires going out of one’s self and setting aside one’s own interests in order to bring expressions of Christ’s love to another person, he explained.
A love that is not concrete, he said, is a symptom of a “religiosity that takes away the flesh of Christ” leading to a situation where people speak of “God without Christ, Christ without the church and a church without people.”
“May our path of love never, never be an abstract love,” he said. “May our love always be concrete with the works of mercy that touch the flesh of Christ, the incarnate Christ” present and suffering in the poor and needy. By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service