Francis: “Christians called to be a living presence in society”

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“Each one, by virtue of Baptism, is called to be a living presence in society, animating it with the Gospel and with the vital force of the Holy Spirit”. Pope Francis’ words in the reflection of the Angelus of this Sunday, October 18

Jane Nogara – Vatican News

The passage of the Gospel of Saint Matthew, in which Jesus struggles against the hypocrisy of his adversaries who praise him, inspired the Pope’s reflection in the Angelus of this XXIX Sunday in Ordinary Time, when he recalled that Jesus knew that they wanted to “put him in trouble ask him the insidious question: ‘Is it lawful, or not, to pay tax to Caesar?’ ” “But Jesus, he knows malice and gets out of the trap. He asks them to show him the currency of the tax, he takes it in his hands and asks: whose print is this. They reply that it is from Caesar, that is, from the Emperor. Then Jesus replies: “Give back what is Caesar’s to Caesar and to God what is God’s”.

Then the Pope explains:

“With this response, Jesus places himself above controversy. On the one hand, he recognizes that the tax to Caesar must be paid, because the image on the currency is his; but, above all, he remembers that each person carries within him another image, that of God, and that is why it is to Him, and only to Him, that everyone is indebted to their own existence ”

Francisco ponders that in this sentence “we find not only the criterion of the distinction between the political and religious spheres, but also clear guidelines for the mission of believers of all times, even for us today”. Just as paying taxes is a duty of the citizen, continues the Pontiff, the same happens with the affirmation of the “primacy of God in human life and history, respecting the right of God to what belongs to him”.

Living presence in society

Francis ponders: “From this derives the mission of the Church and of Christians: to speak of God and to bear witness to him to the men and women of his time”.

Then stating:

“Each one, by virtue of Baptism, is called to be a living presence in society, animating it with the Gospel and with the vital force of the Holy Spirit”

Making a warm appeal to Christians: “It is a question of committing oneself with humility and, at the same time, with courage, making your own contribution to the construction of the civilization of love, where justice and fraternity reign”.

May Mary Most Holy help everyone to escape all hypocrisy and to be honest and constructive citizens. And sustain us, Christ’s disciples in the mission of witnessing that God is the center and the meaning of life ”.

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