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Good works are response to, not reason for Gods forgiveness, pope says

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VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Christians are holy not because of
their good works but because they recognize their sins before God and receive
his forgiveness, Pope Francis said.

In his homily at Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae Oct. 20,
the pope said that
good deeds are “the answer to the freely given love of God, who justifies us and forgives us

“It is the Lord; he is the one who has forgiven our
original sin and who forgives us every time we go to him,” the pope said.
“We cannot forgive our own sins with our works, only he can forgive. We
can respond to this forgiveness with our works.”

The day’s Gospel reading from St. Luke, in which Christ warns
his disciples about the dangers of hypocrisy, speaks of people trying to appear holy to others, while
remaining “all dirty” within, the pope said.

“These people put makeup on their soul, they live off
makeup, holiness is makeup for them,” he said. “Jesus always asks us
to be truthful, but truthful
in our hearts.”

Jesus, the pope continued, offers a different path than the
hypocrites, who are nothing more than “soap bubbles” — here today and gone tomorrow.

Pope Francis said Christ’s warning on the danger of
hypocrisy is a call for all men and women to “be consistent in our life,
consistent in what we do and what we live,” which brings with it the joy of God’s

“Truth always in front of God. Always! And this truth
in front of God is what makes room so that the Lord forgives us,” the pope

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