ROME — The only way to give an authentic witness of Christ’s death and resurrection is by sharing the Gospel with humility, Pope Francis said.
Christians who preach must resist the temptation of power, pride and worldliness, which can lead to “preaching a watered-down Gospel without strength, a Gospel without Christ crucified and risen,” the pope said April 25 during morning Mass in the chapel of Domus Sanctae Marthae.
“Why is this humility necessary?” he asked. “Precisely because we bring forward a proclamation of humiliation, of glory but through humiliation.”
The pope reflected on the day’s reading from the First Letter of Peter (5:5-14) in which the apostle calls on the early Christian communities to be vigilant and resist the devil who “is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
True preachers of the Gospel, the pope said, are always out “on the road” and going out of their way to proclaim Jesus Christ despite the risks and suffering they may endure.
“There is no life insurance for preachers,” he said. “And if a preacher seeks life insurance, he is not a true preacher of the Gospel; he does not go out, he remains secure.”
Although there is always “some form of temptation and even persecution” when evangelizing, the pope said, it is “the Lord who picks us up, who gives us strength.”
Pope Francis added that it is Jesus who will always strengthen those who go out of their way to “preach Christ crucified” if done with “true humility.”
“May the Lord give us this grace, as baptized people — all of us — of taking this path of evangelization with humility, trusting in him, announcing the true Gospel: ‘The Word was made flesh,'” the pope said.