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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Christian love must be incarnate like Christ himself, pope says

A Christian who professes to love but does nothing concrete to demonstrate that love has turned one of the central teachings of faith into an abstraction, Pope Francis said.

A love that does not take flesh like Jesus took flesh, “is not the love that God commands us to have. It’s a worldly love, a philosophical love, an abstract love, a love that is lacking, a soft love,” the pope said on 11th November during morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where he lives.

“This is our truth: God sent his son; he became incarnate and lived a life like we do,” the pope said.

The truth of Jesus’ earthly, incarnate life means that love lived in his name also must be concrete, the pope said. “Love like Jesus loved. Love like Jesus taught us. Love following the example of Jesus. Love, walking the path of Jesus. The path of Jesus is giving one’s life.”

Pope Francis said that while true Christian love is a mystery, it is not ethereal. It always requires going out of one’s self and setting aside one’s own interests in order to bring expressions of Christ’s love to another person, he explained.

Picture: A Cuban firefighter helps a woman cross a flooded street in Havana. Pope Francis said during morning Mass that Christian love must be incarnate like Christ. (CNS photo/Alejandro Ernesto, EPA).