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(Part 37)


April 30, 2014

Three marks of a “people reborn.” Three marks of a community remnant that is restored to its authentic charism.

We are empowered to witness. For this to be so, we, especially leaders, must be careful of certain threats to unity and peace in the community.

  • Gossip, calumny, defamation. If you speak against another, even if what you say is true, in a forum that has no authority over the matter, then you are guilty of this.
  • Vying for power. If you do not do your leadership task meekly, humbly, and submissively, but maneuver to have your own way, then you are guilty of this.
  • Infighting. If your sole focus is not on fighting the one enemy, the devil, and expend your energy in opposing others, then you are guilty of this.
  • Doctrinal struggles. If you contest the vision and mission as enunciated at the top and agreed upon by the leaders, and you bring your discontent not directly to the leaders involved, then you are guilty of this.

As Pope Francis warns, “the devil always tries to divide us.” Do not allow yourself to be a tool of the devil.

Let us all be poor in spirit, humbled and humble, totally submitted to God and His work, being true servants, loving one another, working at peace and unity in the body, and fully focused on the work at hand.

Pope's Morning Homily: 3 Marks of a People Reborn

Francis at Casa Santa Marta Mass Says Devil Tries to Divide

ROME, April 29, 2014 ( - During the homily of his morning Mass at his residence today, Pope Francis proposed three marks of a "people reborn," which characterized the early Christian community.

At Casa Santa Marta, the Holy Father said the Christian community should be characterized by interior unity, witness of Christ, and care of its members.

He spoke of the "rebirth from on high" in the Holy Spirit, who gave life to the first group of "new Christians" when "they still didn’t have that name."

"They had one heart and mind," the Pope said. "Peace. A community in peace. This means that in this community there was no room for gossip, envy, calumnies, defamation. Peace. Forgiveness: 'Love covered everything.'"

Francis stressed the importance of Christians' attitudes: "Are they meek, humble? Do they vie for power between each other in that community? Are there envious quarrels? Is there gossip? [Then] they are not on the path of Jesus Christ. This feature is so important, so important, because the devil always tries to divide us. He is the father of division."

Pope Francis recognized that problems existed even for the first Christians.

He recalled "the infighting, the doctrinal struggles, power struggles."

As an example of this he pointed to the widows who complained of a lack of assistance so that the Apostles "had to create deacons."

Pope Francis proposed a reflection for today's Christian communities: "Does this community give witness to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ? Does this parish, this community, this diocese really believe that Jesus Christ is Risen?"

The Bishop of Rome said the third characteristic from which we can measure the life of a Christian community is "the poor."

"First, what's your attitude or the attitude of this community toward the poor?" he asked. "Second, is this community poor? Poor in heart, poor in spirit? Or does it place its trust in riches? In power?"

"Harmony, witness, poverty and care for the poor. This is what Jesus explained to Nicodemus: This comes from above. Because the only one who can do this is the Holy Spirit," the Pope concluded. "This is the work of the Spirit. The Church is built up by the Spirit. The Spirit creates unity. The Spirit leads us to witness. The Spirit makes us poor, because He is our wealth and leads us to care for the poor."

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