Pope Francis at Santa Marta: “To care is one thing, and to love is another”
He said that there are other loves that lead to unjust actions, but that is not the love of God.
Ask the Lord for love and joy.
According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis gave this advice during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, while considering how God’s love is infinite.
In his homily, the Holy Father pointed out that the Christian mission is to give joy and that at the core of a true Christian’s life, is God’s love.
Quoting from today’s Gospel reading according to St. John, when Jesus says, “As the Father loves me, so I also love you,” the Pontiff reminded those present that the Lord’s love is infinite.
The Lord, Francis said, asks us to stay close to Him and to observe His Commandments.
“The Ten Commandments of course are the foundation, but we are also called to follow all the things that Jesus has taught us, the commandments of daily life that represent a Christian lifestyle.”
While Jesus’s commandments cover a very wide spectrum, the Pope said, one really is at the core, namely “the love of the Father for Him, and His love for us.”
The world itself, Francis acknowledged, offers many other loves: “love of money for example, vanity, boastfulness, pride, love of power.”
Yet, he commented, these loves “have nothing to do with the love of Jesus or of the Father” and distance us from Jesus’s love.
God’s love, he underscored, cannot be measured, Pope Francis said, noting that unlike some worldly loves, neither is it “lukewarm” nor “tainted by interest.”
If we follow the Commandments we were given, the Jesuit Pope mentioned, we will remain in Jesus’ love and in the Father’s infinite love.
“We may ask,” the Pope encouraged those present to consider, “why do you remind us of this? Because the Lord’s joy is in you and your joy must be complete.”
Therefore, he pointed out, “Jesus teaches us the way of love, of having an open heart, of loving without measure, putting other kinds of love aside.”
A Christian’s mission, the Holy Father underscored, is to obey God and to give joy to others, noting: “Love and joy are gifts we must ask the Lord for.”
Before concluding, the Holy Father told the story of a priest who was recently appointed a bishop.
“He went to see his father, he said, to give him the news. His old father was a simple man, a humble worker who had never been to college, but he had the wisdom of life. He had two recommendations for his son: ‘Obey and give joy to the people.’”
“We Christians, lay people, priests, consecrated, bishops,” Pope Francis encouraged, “must give joy to the people; on the path to infinite love our Christian mission is to give people joy.”