By Nicholas Muiruri
Faith in God is a unique trait. Faith is undeserved, and one cannot give anything as consideration to have it. Moreover, faith comes as a reward that helps one change their life. Also, the belief in God allows one to identify Jesus as God’s son and that he has power. The divine power in Jesus’ hands helps a Christian believer to have their sins forgiven. These sentiments came from Pope Francis during morning Mass.
The Pope added that through praise, one can demonstrate their faith. Praise also cements a Christian’s belief in Jesus Christ as God in their life. The Pope was celebrating Mass at the Domus Sanctae Marthae chapel in Vatican City on January 15, 2016.
Pope Francis said that Jesus came to save people from their sins. Also, the coming of Christ had the objective of reuniting Christians with God. Jesus, the Pope said, came to earth as God’s emissary to offer his life as a sacrifice. In exchange for his life, we would receive salvation from sin. The Holy Father, however, noted that most people do not understand that point.
The scripture recorded in Mark 2: 1-12, that was also the day’s Gospel reading, tells of how Jesus healed a paralytic man in Capernaum. After that incident, tension arose among the people following Jesus. They could not understand how he could tell the hitherto sick man about forgiveness of sin.
Elaborating further, Pope Francis said that the majority of people that day approached faith with an open heart. However, another part of the crowd consisted of people who only recognized the power Jesus had in healing the sick. This group of people did not acknowledge that Jesus also had authority over sin, and he could forgive a sinful person.
Pope Francis singled out the Gospel reading of the day as a wake-up call for all Christians. He reiterated the need for Christians to test the strength of their faith in Christ. Also, the Pope called on them to think carefully about the impact their faith in God has on their lives. Christians, he said, needed to ascertain whether their faith has brought them nearer to God or not.
The Pope termed faith as a gift. He added that the reward of faith was undeserved, and no one could buy it. Faith was free, and there was no price for it. He urged all to question whether their faith in Christ brought them to repentance and humility. He added that one should ask themselves whether the same belief could lead to the prayer where one seeks for forgiveness, and acknowledges God as the forgiver of sins.
Recalling the scripture earlier mentioned, Pope Francis noted that the crowd acted with apprehension when Jesus healed the paralyzed man. Instead of harboring such feelings the Pope observed that the multitude should have praised Jesus. He insisted that giving praise is the ultimate proof of one’s belief in Jesus Christ’s mission on earth which was to forgive people of their sins.
In conclusion, the Holy Father stated that praise comes freely from the Holy Spirit. It is a feeling that causes one to acknowledge God as the only supreme deity. The Pope said that it was his prayer that every Christian’s faith in Christ would grow. He added that Jesus forgives and has offered the year as one that will be full of grace. Pope Francis expressed hope that faith in Jesus would lead one to praise God.