Pope Francis Morning Mass – Casa Santa Marta – Vatican City, February, 7, 2014
Taking his cue from Friday’s Gospel which recounts the tragic death of John the Baptist, the Pope said John was the man God had sent to prepare the way for his son. He, Pope Francis continued, was a man in the court of Herod, filled with corruption and vices who urged everyone to convert. The Holy Father recalled how this great Saint firstly, proclaimed Jesus Christ. John had the chance to say he was the Messiah, added the Pope, but he did not. Secondly, said Pope Francis John the Baptist was “a man of Truth”. The third thing John did, underlined the Holy Father was to imitate Jesus in his humility, in his suffering and humiliation.
The Pope also stressed that like other religious figures such as Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, John the Baptist had dark moments, moments of anguish and doubt sending his disciples to ask Jesus : ‘ But tell me, is it you, or am I wrong and there is another?
Pope Francis explained that John the “icon of a disciple” because he is “the man who proclaims Jesus Christ… and follows the way of Jesus Christ.
“Concluding his homily the Holy Father said we should not take advantage of our condition as Christians, as if it were a privilege. Instead we are called proclaim the Gospel message with humility without seizing on the prophecy.