Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The Christian must be "attentive" to the Holy Spirit, which is the "seal" of Christian identity, through which God pledges us Heaven in eternity, said Pope Francis in his homily at Mass celebrated today at Casa Santa Marta, commenting on Paul's Letter to the Ephesians, in which the apostle explains that they believed the Gospel they have received "the seal of the Holy Spirit." With this gift, the Pope says, "God not only chose us" but gave us a style, "a way of life, which is not only a list of habits, it is more: it is an identity".
"Our identity is precisely this seal, this power of the Holy Spirit, that we all have received in Baptism. And the Holy Spirit has sealed our hearts, and more, walks with us. This Spirit, that was promised us - that Jesus promised us - this Spirit not only gives us an identity, but it is also a down payment on our inheritance. With Him, Heaven begins. We are already living in this Heaven, this eternity, because we have been sealed by the Holy Spirit, which is the very beginning of Heaven: it was our down payment; we have it in hand. We have Heaven in hand with this seal".
However, Pope Francis continued, having the pledge of Heaven itself for eternity does not stop Christians from slipping on at least a few temptations. First, he notes, "when we want to, not necessarily cancel out this identity, but dull it down": "This is the lukewarm Christian. It is a Christian who, yes, goes to Mass on Sundays, but whose identity is not visible in his way of life. He may even live like a pagan, but he is a Christian. Being lukewarm. Dulling down our identity. And the other sin, of which Jesus spoke to his disciples, and which we heard: 'Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.' 'Pretending': I pretend to be a Christian, but am not. I am not transparent, I say one thing - 'yes, yes I am a Christian' - but I do another, something that is not Christian".
Instead, and Paul himself reminds us in another passage, a Christian life lived according to that identity created by the Holy Spirit brings with it, gifts of very different weight: "Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. And this is our path to Heaven, it is our road, so that Heaven may begin here. Because we have this Christian identity, we have been sealed by the Holy Spirit. Let us ask the Lord for the grace to be careful with this seal, with this our Christian identity, which is not only a promise, no, we have it already in hand our hand, we have a down payment".
To know how much God loves us, we only have to contemplate the Crucifix: a tortured man, a God," emptied of divinity"," dirtied" by sin. But a God whose self-abasement forever destroys the real name of evil, that which Revelation calls "the ancient serpent".
"It would do us good to make a bit 'of time - today, tomorrow – and read the Beatitudes, read Matthew 25, and be careful about what happens in our heart: if there is something of disdain and ask the Lord for the grace to understand that the only way of salvation is the 'folly of the Cross', that is, the annihilation of the Son of God”.
Commenting on the parable of the rich man, Francis notes that the Gospel he does not mention his name. "This wealth, this is power, this can accomplish anything, this is a priest with a career, a bishop with a career ... How often do we too do this... label people with adjectives, not names, because they have no substance."
God says: "relieve the oppressed, do right by the orphan, plead for the widow." "This is the Christian life. Instead, mere talk leads to vanity, to that empty pretense of being Christian – but no, that way one is not a Christian at all".