It is not the first time that Pope Francis offers the Beatitudes and Matthew 25 as a means towards holiness. He did so at the World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, on July 25, 2013. Here is part of what he told the youth:
"Look, at this moment, I think our world civilization has gone beyond its limits. It has gone beyond its limits because it has made money into such a god that we are now faced with a philosophy and a practice which exclude the two ends of life that are most full of promise for peoples, the young and the old.
"Faith in Jesus Christ is not a joke; it is something very serious. It is a scandal that God came to be one of us. It is a scandal that he died on a cross. It is a scandal: the scandal of the Cross. The Cross continues to provoke scandal. But it is the one sure path, the path of the Cross, the path of Jesus, the path of the Incarnation of Jesus.
"Please do not water down your faith in Jesus Christ. We dilute fruit drinks – orange, apple, or banana juice, but please do not drink a diluted form of faith. Faith is whole and entire, not something that you water down. It is faith in Jesus. It is faith in the Son of God made man who loved me and who died for me.
"What must we do, Father? Look, read the Beatitudes: that will do you good. If you want to know what you actually have to do, read Matthew Chapter 25, which is the standard by which we will be judged. With these two things you have the action plan: the Beatitudes and Matthew 25. You do not need to read anything else".