'Poverty and the ability to praise the Lord' are the signs of a true apostle, Pontiff says in homily

The Gospel should be generously and simply proclaimed said Pope Francis during morning Mass on Tuesday.

In his homily in the Casa Santa Marta chapel at the Vatican, the Pope began by quoting Jesus’s exhortation to the Apostles: “Provide yourselves with no gold or silver, not even with coppers for your purses” (M 10:9).

He explained that the Lord wants us to proclaim the Gospel with “simplicity”, a simplicity “that gives way to the power of the Word of God,” because if the Apostles had not had “confidence in the Word of God… they would probably have done something else”.

The Pontiff went on to say that the Kingdom of God, “is a free gift”, but he also added that from the beginning of the Christian community, this attitude has been subject to temptation.

Citing Benedict XVI, Pope Francis said that the Church grows by “drawing people to her” and this attraction, he added, comes from the testimony of “those who freely proclaim the gratuity of salvation”.

“These two are the signs of an apostle who lives this gratuity: poverty and the ability to praise the Lord,” said Pope Francis.

“When we find the apostles who want to build a rich Church and a Church without the gratuitousness of praise, the Church becomes old, the Church becomes an NGO, the Church becomes lifeless.

“Today we ask the Lord for the grace to acknowledge this generosity: ‘Freely you have received, freely give’. Recognising this gratuity, this gift of God. Let us move forward in preaching of Gospel”.

Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, concelebrated the Mass that was attended by Congregation Staff.