Commenting on the day’s first reading, taken from the Acts of the Apostles, Pope Francis reflected on the nature of Christian identity, noting that a Christian is first of all someone who is “sent”: the Lord sends his disciples out into the world to proclaim the Gospel, so a Christian is a disciple “who walks,
A second feature of Christian identity, the Pope continued, is that a Christian “is a lamb, and must retain this identity”: the Lord sends us out “as lambs among wolves”. Some would suggest using strength against those wolves, the Pope continued, but we must remember David when he fought the Philistine: “they wanted to dress him up in all of Saul’s armour and he couldn’t move, he wasn’t himself, he wasn’t humble”, so in the end he took his catapult and he won the battle. Sometimes temptation leads us to think: “This is difficult, these wolves are smart and I’ll be smarter than them”. But as long as you’re a lamb, the Lord will defend you, while if you’re a wolf, He won’t defend you, He will leave you alone.
A third feature of Christian identity, Pope Francis went on, is the “Christian style”, which is joy. Christians, he said, “are people who exult because they know the Lord and they bring the Lord”. It is not possible, the Pope said, to walk as Christians without joy, to walk as lambs without joy. Even in the face of challenges, in the face of difficulties, in the face of our own mistakes and sins, “there is the joy of Jesus, which always forgives and helps”. Those Christians whose “tempo” of life is “adagio-complaining” are not helping the Lord or the Church, the Pope said: that is not the style of the disciple.
On the feast of the two Christian disciples, Cyrill and Methodius, we must reflect on the nature of Christian identity, Pope Francis concluded: a Christian is a man or a woman who never stands still, who always walks, who walks as a lamb, and walks with joy. Through the intercession of these Saints, Patrons of Europe, may the Lord grant us the grace to live as Christians who walk as lambs, with joy.