When Pope Francis writes of being in fidelity to the Master, what does he mean? He offers us the words of his second predecessor, and a reminder of the importance of Matthew 25:31-46:
96. Holiness, then, is not about swooning in mystic rapture. As Saint John Paul II said: “If we truly start out anew from the contemplation of Christ, we must learn to see him especially in the faces of those with whom he himself wished to be identified”. [Novo Millennio Ineunte 49] The text of Matthew 25:35-36 is “not a simple invitation to charity: it is a page of Christology which sheds a ray of light on the mystery of Christ”. [Ibid.] In this call to recognize him in the poor and the suffering, we see revealed the very heart of Christ, his deepest feelings and choices, which every saint seeks to imitate.
In sum, the Lord is not seeking a private me-and-you moment with each of us. We are beckoned to imitate his will, which involves the direct companionship of the needy, some of whom are listed in this passage from the longest Gospel.