Pope Francis: Christians who ignore suffering of others are committing a grave sin

Christians who turn their head away from the suffering of other people are committing a grave sin, according to Pope Francis.

On Sept. 3, Pope Francis spoke to an audience in Rome about the acts of mercy of the Blessed Teresa of Calcutta ahead of her canonization. The pontiff said the sufferings of the people serve as believers' modern-day Calvary, and that one cannot become a good Christian if he ignores others' needs, the Catholic Herald relays.

Pope Francis leads the weekly audience at the Vatican, August 31, 2016. | Reuters/Stefano Rellandini

"I will never tire of saying that the mercy of God is not some beautiful idea but rather a concrete action. There is no mercy without concreteness," said Pope Francis last Saturday. "Mercy is not doing something good while passing by; it means involving yourself there where there is evil, where there is sickness, where there is hunger, where there is human exploitation."

In addition, the Pope said the Christians who reach out to people in need are actually extending Jesus' hand by making the sufferers feel loved. He then called on the believers to imitate the example of Mother Teresa and other saints who helped alleviate people's sufferings.

At the end of his speech, Pope Francis initiated a moment of silent prayer for those who are suffering and for those who are being treated as the outcast of society. The pontiff also called for prayer for those who "look the other way" and who still do have any concern for others' needs.

After the canonization ceremony for Mother Teresa, Pope Francis invited more than 1,000 homeless people to dine at the Vatican audience hall. All of the guests were offered a Neapolitan pizza for lunch, the Vatican Insider reports.

Outside the great Vatican audience hall, wood-fired ovens were set up and pizza makers from Naples were brought in to prepare lunch for the homeless people. The team was supervised by Neapolitan pizza maker Vincenzo Staiano, who actively participates in charitable initiatives.

The pizza treat is Pope Francis' way of reflecting Mother Teresa's concern for the needy people, to whom her life was dedicated.

Inside Christian Daily