Pope Francis: “Either love is altruistic and caring or it is totally not Christian”
The characteristics of Christian love should always be concrete, meaning that it should demonstrate itself in deeds and not only words. This love means that it has a greater desire to give than to receive. Pope Francis reminded all about this during the Holy Mass on January 9, 2014 in the chapel of St. Martha’s Home, his Vatican residence.
In presenting this topic, the Universal Hierarch chose the Biblical exert read during the Liturgy on that day from the First Epistle of Apostle John (4,12): If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. He noted that the experience of faith lies exactly in this double “existence”: us in God and God in us.
Christian life is existing in God, in His love, and not in the spirit of the world, in superficiality, in praise of idols, in trivialities. To exist in God is not, according to the Pope, an ecstasy of the heart or some pleasant feeling.
The Holy Father emphasized that either love is altruistic and caring, which rolls up one’s sleeves and goes to the assistance of the indigent and needy, centers on giving rather than receiving, or it in no way relates to Christian love.
“The love about which St. John speaks, is not the love from TV serials… Christian love always has one quality – concreteness. Christian love is concrete. Whenever Jesus talked about love, he talked about concrete things: to feed the hungry, to visit the sick, and many other things,” stated the Holy Father, adding that without such a concrete love, a person begins to live in a fake Christianity, and thereby the essence of the Good News of Jesus Christ becomes not understandable.
Referring also to the Gospel of the day, the Roman Bishop pointed out that love contains essentially two basics: first, to love not in words but in deeds, and secondly, that in love it is more important to give than to receive. Because one who loves, gives to God and his neighbors, things, life, oneself… On the other hand, the one who does not love is an egoist who desires only to receive and is always searching for gaining riches and comfort.