Christians must ask themselves whether they help people in need of salvation or whether they just keep Jesus for themselves and are deaf or indifferent to others, Pope Francis said at his morning Mass.
Families are the first victims wherever there is conflict or poverty, but they also are the best place for teaching peace and reconciliation, Pope Francis told bishops of the Central African Republic.
The closer two people are to each other, the more care is required in respecting the other’s freedom and feelings, Pope Francis said.
“To be Christian is to do what Jesus did — serve,” he said in a homily April 30 during Mass in the chapel of his residence, the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
Two millennia after the “Gospel of the family” defeated an abusive social practice that humiliated women, the “radical equality” of spouses in Christian marriage must now bear “new fruit” in society, including “the right to equal pay for equal work,” said Pope Francis.
“I urge everyone to see the world with the eyes of God the creator: The earth is an environment to safeguard and a garden to cultivate,” Pope Francis said.
Eradicating male and female identities does nothing to solve the problem of unfair or disrespectful treatment based on people’s gender, Pope Francis said.
During his weekly general audience in a chilly, but sunny St. Peter’s Square April 8, the pope continued his series of talks about the family, dedicating a second catechesis to children. He described the great suffering and difficulties many children around the world experience as “a Passion.”
Christians live the joy of the Resurrection when they share a smile with someone, weep with those who mourn and defend the rights of those persecuted for their faith, Pope Francis said.
The pope began his catechesis, dedicated to the celebration of Holy Week and Easter, by saying that the death and resurrection of Christ are “the culmination” of the entire liturgical year and of the Christian life.
Children are a blessing for humanity and for the church, bringing new life and energy to families and society, Pope Francis said.