Pope Francis has called on Christians to overcome the self-centred mindset of the doctors of the law who know only how to condemn. His words came at the morning Mass in the Casa Santa Marta.

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Pope Francis on Thursday invited the faithful to let themselves be drawn by Jesus pointing out that Christian life is a daily struggle against temptation.

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Be courageous Christians, anchored in hope and capable of enduring dark moments. This was the forceful invitation of Pope Francis at the morning Mass on Tuesday at the Casa Santa Marta. Lazy Christians, on the other hand, are stationary, the Pope said, and for them, the Church is a good parking spot.

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During his homily on Friday morning in the Chapel of Santa Marta, Pope Francis said that authentic faith must be ready to take risks and that real hope is the reward.

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Pope Francis celebrated Mass in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta on Thursday morning. In remarks to the faithful following the readings of the day, the Holy Father reflected on the unique and unrepeatable opportunities each day offers to grow in faith and love of God.

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Jesus had authority because He served the people, He was close to persons and He was coherent, as opposed to the doctors of the law who considered themselves princes. These three characteristics of Jesus’ authority were highlighted by Pope Francis in his homily at the morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta. The Holy Father noted, on the other hand, that the doctors of the law taught with a clericalist authority: they were far distant from the people, and didn’t live what they preached.

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Christian life is simple; a Christian does not need to do strange or difficult things, but put Jesus at the centre of his or her daily choices.

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Pope Francis presided over Mass for the feast of the Epiphany which was celebrated on Friday in St Peter's Basilica.

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On the final day of the civil year, Pope Francis celebrated First Vespers for the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God in St Peter’s Basilica. The ceremony also included the chanting of the hymn Te Deum in thanksgiving for the blessings of the past year.

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Pastors should speak the truth, but at the same time welcome people for what they are able to give: this is the first step; the rest we leave to the Lord. That was the message of Pope Francis at the daily Mass at the Casa Santa Marta on Thursday.

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The spirit of clericalism is an evil that is present in the Church today, Pope Francis said, and the victim of this spirit is the people, who feel discarded and abused. That was the Pope’s message in the homily at the morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta.

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Pope Francis celebrated Mass in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta on Friday morning, focusing his remarks following the readings of the day on the need for priests to serve as authentic mediators of God’s love, rather than as intermediaries – “go-betweens” or “middle-men” – concerned only with advancing their own interests.

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VATICAN CITY – Priests are called to be mediators between God and God's people, offering their time and their very lives in service; they are not God's "intermediaries" or functionaries, who go to work to get paid or, worse, enter the priesthood in search of status, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY – At Christmas, God reveals his full power, which is the power of relentlessly seeking his lost sheep and, when he finds them, giving them a caress, Pope Francis said.

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Let us allow ourselves to be transformed by Christ; let us allow ourselves to be able to be re-created, freeing us from our sins. That was the message of Pope Francis at the morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, centred on the theme of the renewal that the Lord brings. The Pope put us on guard about painting over our sins without truly being ashamed in our hearts. Only by calling sins by their name, he said, will we be able to allow God to make us new women and men.

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