Vatican City, Apr 4, 2018 / 02:31 am
On Wednesday Pope Francis said the Eucharist is key to living an authentic Christian witness, and that those who leave Mass unchanged, continuing to gossip or hold onto unholy habits, have missed the point.
“While the Mass ends, the commitment for Christian witness opens. We leave the church to go in peace to bring the blessing of God to our daily activities, to our homes, to our work, to the affairs of the earthly city, glorifying the Lord with our lives,” the pope said April 4.
The Mass, he said, is not just a weekly commitment that can be forgotten once people exit the church doors.
“No. Christians go to Mass to participate in the passion, death and resurrection of the Lord, and to live as better Christians,” he said. “If we leave the church gossiping” or talking badly about other people, then “the Mass didn't enter into my heart, because I am not capable of living Christian testimony.”
“Every time I leave Mass I must leave better than I went in,” he said, adding that the Eucharist should leave a person with a better heart, a better spirit and “a stronger desire to live as a Christian.”
Pope Francis spoke to pilgrims in a rainy St. Peter’s Square for his weekly general audience, which this week fell during the Octave of Easter and was dedicated to his last round of catechesis on the Mass.
Francis opened with an aside wishing pilgrims a happy Easter and saying the flowers adorning the facade of St. Peter’s Basilica are representative of the joy and happiness that blossom after Christ’s resurrection.
He asked pilgrims to join him in wishing retired Pope Benedict XVI -- whom he said was watching the audience on television -- a happy Easter, and told them to give his predecessor a big round of applause.