Pope Francis: Christʼs ʻMeek Lightʼ Brings Peace and the Cross

The Holy Father urges Christians to discern the signs that set the light of Christ apart from the false light of the devil.

Pope Francis holding an audience in Paul VI hall.
Pope Francis holding an audience in Paul VI hall. (photo: Lauren Cater/CNA)

VATICAN CITY — While the light of Jesus is powerful enough to cast out demons, it is a peaceful and humble light that helps men and women carry the cross in their lives, said Pope Francis in a recent homily.

“Jesus doesn’t need an army to cast out the demons; he has no need of pride, no need of force, of arrogance,” Pope Francis said during daily Mass Sept. 3 at the chapel of the St. Martha House, where he resides.

The Holy Father resumed celebrating daily Mass for Vatican staff and guests at his home Tuesday after a month’s break.

Close to 50 people, usually employees from various Vatican departments, are invited to attend each day.

Pope Francis took his homily from the Gospel of Luke, which narrates how Jesus cast out demons.

The light of Jesus “saves us from darkness,” said the Holy Father, explaining that Christianity is “an identity of light, not of darkness.”

“This Light is not well-liked by the world,” he said. “Today one might think that there is the possibility of having the light with so many scientific things and so many of the things of humanity.”

“You can know everything, you can have knowledge of all things … but the light of Jesus is something else,” Francis said.

The Pope added that “it is not a light of ignorance; it’s a light of wisdom and sagacity, but it is something other than the light of the world.”

“The light that the world offers us is an artificial light, strong perhaps, but that of Jesus is stronger,” he said.

Rather than a strong but brief flash, the “light of Jesus is a mild light; it is a quiet light; it is a light of peace; it’s like the light on Christmas night, without pretense,” Francis said.

He added that “the light of Jesus does not put on a show; it is a light that comes into the heart” and “offers and gives peace.”

“However, it’s true that many times the devil comes dressed as an angel of light,” the Pope warned.

“He likes to imitate Jesus and do good; he speaks to us quietly, as he spoke to Jesus after the fast in the desert,” he explained.

The Holy Father stressed that men and women should ask for the wisdom of discernment to distinguish when it is Jesus, who gives them true light, and when it is the devil, disguised as an angel of light.

“How many believe they are living in the light, and they are in darkness, but they don’t realize it?” he asked.

Pope Francis described the light of Jesus as “a humble light,” and “not a light that imposes itself.”

“It’s a meek light, with the strength of meekness. It’s a light that speaks to the heart and also a light that offers you the cross,” he said.

“If we, in our inner light, are meek, if we hear the voice of Jesus in the heart, and look at the cross without fear, that is the light of Jesus,” Francis said. He contrasted this with the devil’s false light, which “makes you arrogant” and prideful, leading a person “to look on others from on high, to despise others.”

Men and women can distinguish between these two lights, the Pope said, by recognizing that “wherever Jesus is, there is always humility, meekness, love and the cross.”