No one 'deserves' faith; it is a gift, pope says

By Junno Arocho Esteves

deserves faith and no one
can buy it; faith is a gift that changes one’s life and allows people to
recognize Jesus as the son
of God with the
power to forgive sins, Pope Francis said at his morning Mass.

Praise is the proof that one truly has faith
and believes “that Jesus Christ is God in my life,” the pope said
Jan. 15 during the Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

Jesus, he said, was sent “to save us from our sins, to save
us and bring us to the father. He was sent for that, to give his life for our
salvation.” However, the pope added that is “the most difficult point to

Gospel for the day, Mark 2: 1-12, recounted Jesus’ healing of a paralytic in Capernaum and the
tension that arose among those who followed Jesus when he told the ailing man that his sins
were forgiven.

Many in the crowd had their hearts “open to faith,” but there were others, the pope said,
who accepted Jesus as a healer but not his authority to forgive sins.

The day’s Gospel reading, the pope continued, is a call for Christians to ask themselves
how strong their faith in
Jesus is and to
discern if their faith changes their lives and brings them closer to God.

is a gift. No one ‘deserves’ faith, no one can buy it; it is a gift,” he
said. “Does my faith in Jesus Christ bring me to humble myself, to
repentance, to the prayer that says: ‘Forgive me, Lord. You are God. You can
forgive my sins?'”

Noting the crowd’s reaction after Jesus’
healing of the paralytic, Pope Francis said that is through praise that people prove their faith
and belief that Jesus was sent to forgive sins.

“Praising is
free. It is a feeling that is given by the Holy Spirit and brings you to say:
‘You are the only God,'” he said. “May the Lord make us grow in this
faith in Jesus Christ, who forgives us, who offers a year of grace, and may this faith
brings us to praise.”

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