VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis said Christians should boast about only two things: that they are sinners and they have been saved by Jesus Christ. It's useless to brag about formal education and degrees because they don't have the power to transform people into credible Christian witnesses, the pope said; only a personal experience of God's saving grace can do that.
In his homily Sept. 4, Pope Francis focused on the day's readings. In the first, St. Paul warns about the vanity of those who are "wise" and how "the wisdom of this world is foolishness in the eyes of God" (1Cor 3:18-23).
The Gospel reading tells of Simon Peter, the fisherman, who begged Jesus to "depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man" (Lk 5:1-11). "Paul tells us that the power of the Word of God, the thing that transforms the heart, that changes the world, that gives us hope, that gives us life, doesn't lie in human wisdom: It isn't in speaking eloquently and in a beautiful discourse with human intelligence," the pope said during an early morning Mass in the chapel of his residence, the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
"The power of the word of God comes from the heart of the preacher" transformed by an encounter with Christ, the pope said, according to Vatican Radio.
(© 2014 Catholic News Service)