Pope Francis: Love is demanding

During the Angelus on Sunday, Pope Francis reflected on the day's Gospel reading, in which Jesus is asked: "Lord, will only a few people be saved?" In Jesus' time, this was a much debated point. "Jesus, however, turned the question around," the Pope said. Instead of dwelling on the number of the saved, whether few or many, the Lord "places the answer on the plane of responsibility, inviting us to use the present time well."

Jesus calls everyone "to enter through the narrow gate," showing that it is not a question of numbers, but of "going through the right passage, which is there for everyone." Pope Francis explained that "Jesus does not want to deceive us" with promises of "a beautiful highway, and at the end a wide door." Rather, the passage is narrow, in the sense of demanding. In order to be saved, the Pope said, we must love God and our neighbour - and this is not "comfortable." It is demanding, and requires us to "strive," which the Pope said means having a "decisive and persevering will to live according to the Gospel."

Recalling the parable Jesus tells in the Gospel, of those left outside when the master of the house closes and locks the door, Pope Francis said that the Lord will not recognise us by our titles, but only in recognition of how we have lived our lives - "a humble life, a good life, a life of faith that results in works."

For Christians, the Pope said, that means "that we are called to restore a true communion with Jesus, praying, going to Church, approaching the Sacraments and nourishing ourselves on His Word. This maintains us in faith, nourishes our hope, revives charity."

In this way, the Pope said, "with the grace of God, we can and must spend our life for the good of our brothers and sisters, struggling against every form of evil and of injustice."

Finally, Pope Francis pointed to the Blessed Virgin Mary, who has already "passed through the narrow gate that is Jesus." For this reason, he said, "Let us invoke her as the Gate of Heaven… a gate that follows exactly the form of Jesus: the gate of the heart of God, a heart that is demanding, but open to all."

Tags: Angelus, Love, Narrow Door, Pope Francis

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