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Pope Francis: ‘Christian charity is not simple philanthropy’

Christian charity is more than simple philanthropy, Pope Francis said in his Angelus address Sunday.

Speaking from a window overlooking St. Peter’s Square Aug. 23, the pope said: “Christian charity is not simple philanthropy but, on the one hand, it is looking at others through the eyes of Jesus Himself and, on the other hand, seeing Jesus in the face of the poor.”

In his address, the pope reflected on the day’s Gospel reading (Matthew 16:13-20), in which Peter professes his faith in Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God. 

“The Apostle’s confession is provoked by Jesus Himself, who wishes to lead His disciples to take the decisive step in their relationship with Him. Indeed, the entirety of Jesus’s journey with those who follow Him, especially with the Twelve, is one of educating their faith,” he said, according to an unofficial English translation provided by the Holy See press office. 

The pope said that Jesus posed two questions in order to educate the disciples: “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” (v. 13) and “Who do you say I am?” (v. 15).

The pope suggested that, in answer to the first question, the apostles seemed to compete in reporting different opinions, perhaps sharing the view that Jesus of Nazareth was essentially a prophet. 

When Jesus posed the second question to them, there appeared to be “a moment of silence,” the pope said, “as each one of those present is called to put themselves on the line, manifesting the reason why they follow Jesus.”

Read more at Catholic News Agency

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