Pope Francis to laity: Go out and evangelise, or buy mothballs

The Good News is meant to be shared, not stored away.
Pope Francis. Image: Shutterstock.

By Elise Harris

When asked in a new interview what specific mission he has for the laity, Pope Francis responded with a frequent appeal: to go outside of oneself and take risks in evangelising, rather than staying stuffed up at home while the moths move in.

“Sometimes I think the best business we can do with many Christians, is to sell them mothballs so that they put them in their clothes and in their lives and aren’t eaten by moths,” the Pope said in the interview, published on 29 January 2017.

The interviewer, journalist Noel Díaz, had questioned the Pope about a comment he had made to him on a previous occasion to “tell the laity to come out of the caves”.

When asked about the comment and what mission he would give to the laity with that image in mind, Francis said that many times Christians “are locked up and they are going to get eaten by moths”.

“They have to go out, they have to go and bring the message of Jesus” to others, he said, explaining that the Good News is meant to be shared, not stored away.

“The message of Jesus is to give it; so just as I receive it from him through a brother or sister, the grace comes to me and I give it,” he said, stressing that Christians shouldn’t “can” the message, trying to conserve it in a jar, because “it’s not to save, it’s to give.”

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