Jesus is found only in the Church, says Pope

It is not possible to find Jesus outside the Church, the community that gives Christians their identity, Pope Francis said in a homily on his personal feast day.

Dozens of cardinals living in Rome or visiting the Vatican joined in the April 23 celebration of Mass on the feast of St George — the patron of the Pope, whose first name is Jorge.

“Christian identity is not an identity card,” Pope Francis said. “Christian identity is belonging to the Church…. Because it is not possible to find Jesus outside the Church.

“The great Paul VI said: ‘Wanting to live with Jesus without the Church, following Jesus outside of the Church, loving Jesus without the Church is an absurd dichotomy.’

“And the Mother Church that gives us Jesus gives us our identity that is not only a seal, it is a belonging. Identity means belonging. This belonging to the Church is beautiful,” he said.

“Think of this Mother Church that grows, grows with new children to whom she gives the identity of the faith, because you cannot believe in Jesus without the Church,” the Pope continued.

“Jesus himself says in the Gospel: ‘But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep.’

“If we are not ‘sheep of Jesus’, faith does not come to us. It is a rosewater faith, a faith without substance.

The Pontiff also spoke about persecution, noting that “the missionary expansion of the Church began precisely at a time of persecution”.

The life of the Church is a path that always alternates between “persecution and consolation, between the Cross and the Resurrection”, he said.

“If we want to take the path of the mundane, negotiating with the world,” the Pope said, “we will never have the consolation of the Lord. If we seek only consolation, it will be superficial.”


Catholic News Agency

Vatican Radio

Image: The Catholic Sun

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