Salvation of Non-Christians: Pope Francis on Dying for the Truth

Pope Francis in his Angelus Message of June 23, 2013, distinguishes several ways of losing one's life for Christ: (1) enduring death in order to remain faithful to Christ and his Gospel; (2) giving one's life daily in faithful love and sacrifice; (3) dying for the truth, and thus for Christ, who says of himself "I am the truth." His final comments seem to suggest that as dying for the truth is implicitly losing one's life for Christ, so daily sacrificial service of the truth is also implicitly giving one's life for Christ.

In this Sunday's Gospel resounds one of the most incisive sayings of Jesus: "whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it (Luke 9:24).

Here is a synthesis of Christ's message… But what does it mean to "lose one's life for Jesus's sake"? This can happen in two ways: explicitly, by confessing the faith, or implicitly, by defending the truth. The martyrs are the best example of losing one's life for Christ. In two thousand years have a host immense men and women who sacrificed their lives to remain faithful to Jesus Christ and his Gospel. … But there is also the daily martyrdom, which does not entail death but is also a "losing of life" for Christ, doing one's duty with love, according to the logic of Jesus, the logic of gift and sacrifice….

And then there are so many people, Christians and non-Christians, who "lose their life" for the truth. And Christ said "I am the truth"; thus those who serve the truth serve Christ…. One of these people who gave his life for the truth is John the Baptist… How many people pay dearly for their commitment to the truth! How many righteous men prefer to go against the tide, so as not to deny the voice of conscience, the voice of truth! Righteous people, who are not afraid to go against the tide!