Once again, Pope Francis is telling the world to say less and listen more. Speaking to his church audience, he said Wednesday that effective evangelization does not involve selling religion -- delivering religious messages -- as much as it involves listening and engaging people with their questions and doubts.
The Francis Chronicles
John Allen in Rome: In a message Thursday to the world of communications, Pope Francis called on the media to foster two qualities for which they're not exactly renowned.
The bishop must always foster this missionary communion in his diocesan Church, following the ideal of the first Christian communities, in which the believers were of one heart and one soul (cf. Acts 4:32). To do so, he will sometimes go before his people, pointing the way and keeping their hope vibrant. At other times, he will simply be in their midst with his unassuming and merciful presence. At yet other times, he will have to walk after them, helping those who lag behind and -- above all -- allowing the flock to strike out on new paths.
Pope Francis says we need to be small and humble to dialogue with God, but at the same time, God always chooses those who are small and who have the least power.
This was the core message of the Francis' homily at Tuesday morning Mass in the Santa Marta residence, according to Vatican Radio.
Business leaders have the power and the duty to reduce widespread inequality and "social exclusion," ensuring that "humanity is served by wealth and not ruled by it," Pope Francis said in a message read at the opening of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
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 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.