Pope Francis (L) celebrates Palm Sunday mass at St. Peter’s Basilica on March 28, 2021 in The Vatican, amid the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic. Giuseppe LAMI / POOL / AFP

Pope Francis has called on Christians to emulate Jesus Christ, explaining in a homily to mark the 2021 Palm Sunday that it is not enough to admire His qualities.

While delivering the homily in St Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis recounted how those who earlier hailed Jesus later turned out to call for his crucifixion.

“What happened? They were following an idea of the Messiah rather than the Messiah. They admired Jesus, but they did not let themselves be amazed by him. Amazement is not the same as admiration,” Pope Francis added.

“Admiration can be worldly since it follows its own tastes and expectations.

Amazement, on the other hand, remains open to others and to the newness they bring.

Even today, there are many people who admire Jesus: he said beautiful things; he was filled with love and forgiveness; his example changed history, … and so on.

“They admire him, but their lives are not changed. To admire Jesus is not enough. We have to follow in his footsteps, to let ourselves be challenged by him; to pass from admiration to amazement.”

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