At the Angelus, Pope Francis urges us not to fall prey to the "master of illusion" who "promise quick success, great profits, magical solutions to every problem". It is easy to slip into idolatry: "replacing God with an idol". A prayer for the meeting at the Vatican with the presidents of Episcopal Conferences from across the globe on the protection of minors.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "Jesus’ Beatitudes are a decisive message, which spurs us not to put our trust in material and passing things; not to seek happiness following peddlers in empty promises – who so often are peddlers of death — masters of illusion,” said Pope Francis commenting on today's Gospel (6th Sunday for year, C, Lk 6, 17, 20-26), on the Beatitudes according to Saint Luke.
With the four Beatitudes (for "the poor, the hungry, the afflicted, the persecuted") and the four "troubles" to "rich, satisfied, laughing and acclaimed by the people", the Gospel invites us " to reflect on the profound meaning of having faith, which consists in trusting the Lord totally. It’s about pulling down the worldly idols to open the heart to the true and living God. Only He can give to our existence that so desired fullness yet difficult to attain. Brothers and sisters, there are many, in fact, also in our days, who put themselves forward as dispensers of happiness: they come and promise success in good times, great earnings within reach, magical solutions to every problem, and so on. And here it’s easy to slide, without realizing it, into the sin against the first Commandment: namely, idolatry, to substitute God with an idol. Idolatry and idols seem like things of other times, but in reality, they are of all times! — also of today. They describe some contemporary attitudes better than many sociological analyses."
"We are called to happiness, to be blessed and we become so, as of now, in the measure in which we put ourselves on the side of God, of his Kingdom, on the side of what’s not ephemeral but lasts for eternal life. We are happy if we acknowledge ourselves needy before God –and this is very important: “Lord, I need You” — and if, like Him and with Him, we are close to the poor, the afflicted and the hungry. We become capable of joy every time that having the goods of this world, we don’t make them idols, to which we sell our soul, but are capable of sharing them with our brothers. On this the liturgy invites us today, once again, to question ourselves and to have the truth in our heart".
"Jesus’ Beatitudes are a decisive message, which spurs us not to put our trust in material and passing things; not to seek happiness following peddlers in empty promises – who so often are peddlers of death — masters of illusion. It’s not necessary to follow them, because they are incapable of giving us hope. The Lord helps us to open our eyes, to acquire a more penetrating look on reality, to be healed from our chronic myopia, with which the worldly spirit infects us. He shakes us with His paradoxical Word and makes us recognize what really enriches us, fills us, gives us joy and dignity, in sum, what really gives meaning and fullness to our life. May the Virgin Mary help us to listen to this Gospel with an open mind and heart, so that it bears fruit in our lives and we become witnesses of the happiness that doesn’t disappoint, God’s happiness, which never disappoints".
After the Marian prayer, the pontiff announced that from February 21 to 24 a meeting will be held with the presidents of the world episcopal conferences on the theme of the protection of minors in the Church. Dying every word, the pope added: "I invite you to pray for this appointment, which I wanted as an act of strong pastoral responsibility before an urgent challenge of our time". Just yesterday, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith dismissed the former cardinal Theodore McCarrick from the clerical state, found guilty of child abuse.