Francis Chronicles: Priests, bishops and lay Catholics who cause scandal are living lives cut off from God, and their corruption ends up poisoning others, Pope Francis said.
The Francis Chronicles
The authority of Jesus' teaching seemed "new" to the people of his day, not because of its content, but because of the love and respect with which Jesus spoke, Pope Francis said.
Jesus "wanted the people to draw near and seek him, and he was moved when he saw them like sheep without a shepherd," the pope said Tuesday in the homily at his early morning Mass.
The day's Gospel reading, describing Jesus preaching in the synagogue at Capernaum, said the people were astonished by his preaching, which to them was "a new teaching with authority."
Pope Francis assured mothers that breast-feeding their babies in public, even during a papal Mass in the Sistine Chapel, is OK.
No chorus is as wonderful as the squeaks, squeals and banter of children, the pope said during a Mass in which he baptized 32 babies Sunday, the feast of the Baptism of the Lord.
"Some will cry because they are uncomfortable or because they are hungry," he said during his brief and unscripted homily.
"If they are hungry, mothers, let them eat, no worries, because here they are the main focus," he said.
There are too many "defeated Christians" in the church who do not fully believe in the faith handed down to them by way of tradition and who do not completely trust in God, Pope Francis said.
If Christians don't believe and live the faith as a victorious mover of mountains, then "there is only defeat, and the prince of the world conquers the world," the pope said in his homily Friday during his morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
Christians must love through concrete actions, not words, which are just whisked away in the wind, Pope Francis said.
True love knows it's more important to give -- "give things, give life, give oneself to God and others" -- than receive, the pope said in his homily Thursday during his morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where he lives.
Christian love is generous and real, it's not some dreamy romantic notion and "not the love on soap operas," he said, according to Vatican Radio.
So what is the pathway to Jesus?
If you listen to Pope Francis, it is through humility and service. It is a path, Francis said in a homily at Casa Santa Marta the first day back after the holiday season.
Christians should go out into the world to follow God but use "holy cunning" to guard against the snares of temptation, Pope Francis said.
The pope made the remarks at a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica on Monday on the feast of the Epiphany, which marks the manifestation of Jesus as savior to the world.
In his homily, the pope said that life is a journey, and like the three Wise Men, or Magi, people are looking for the "fullness of truth and of love which we Christians recognize in Jesus, the light of the world."
The Francis Chronicles: Just before midnight on New Year's Eve, Pope Francis called a small community of Carmelite nuns in Spain to wish them greetings.
Welcoming in a new year, Pope Francis said it was time to stop provoking and ignoring violence, tragedy and conflict in the world, and begin building peace at home.
"Justice and peace at home, among us -- you begin at home and then you move on to all of humanity. But we have to start at home," he said Jan. 1, which the church marks as the feast of Mary, Mother of God and as World Peace Day.