Vatican City, Apr 7, 2016 / 12:37 pm America/Denver (CNA).
Pope Francis on Thursday praised the consistency and courage of the modern day martyrs who continue to “carry the Church forward” even as they face death for their witness to the Risen Christ.
“These are the lifeblood of the Church; these are the ones that carry the Church forward, the witnesses, who attest that Jesus is Risen, that Jesus is alive, and they bear witness through the consistency of their life, with the Holy Spirit they have received as a gift,” Pope Francis said during his April 7 homily, according to Vatican Radio.
He said that the Church needs their witness now, just as much as at the beginning of Christianity when “Peter the coward” became “courageous” after Christ’s death and resurrection, as today’s readings reflected.
In the reading from the Acts of the Apostles, we learn that Peter, the very apostle who denied Christ hours before his crucifixion, has become emboldened by our Lord’s resurrection and preaches the Gospel to the leaders of the Sanhedrin even though they had forbidden it, the Holy Father said.
Being a Christian means being consistent “in what he says, in what he does, and what he receives,” even if witnessing to the Gospel means one “puts his life on the line” by doing so.