Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the theme of Christian hope during the weekly general audience Wednesday in St. Peter's Square. This time he reflected on the counter-cultural life of the Christian, which will mean withstanding persecution on some level, and for some, even martyrdom.
"Christians are therefore men and women 'against the current,'" he said. "It is normal: since the world is marked by sin, manifested in various forms of egoism and injustice, those who follow Christ walk in the opposite direction."
As Christians we do this "not for a contrary spirit, but for loyalty to the logic of the Kingdom of God, which is a logic of hope, and is translated into a way of life based on the directions of Jesus," he continued.
"Christians must therefore always find themselves on the 'other side,' on the other side of the world, that chosen by God; not persecutors but persecuted; not arrogant, but gentle; not conmen, but submissive to the truth; not imposters, but honest."
The first indication of a life lived based on this logic is poverty, the Pope said. In fact, he emphasized, "a Christian who is not humble and poor, detached from wealth and power and above all detached from himself, does not look like Jesus."
Following this way has its difficulties and struggles, of course, the Pope said. But in difficulty, we must remember that Jesus is with us, and he never leaves his disciples alone.
"This fidelity to the way of Jesus – a way of hope – unto death, will be called by the first Christians with a beautiful name: 'martyrdom,' meaning 'testimony,'" he said.