"When we try to boost our visibility, in the Church, in our community, to have a position or something else, that is the way of the world, it is a worldly road, it is not the way of Jesus. And this temptation to be a climber can also happen to pastors”. “But if a shepherd does not follow this path, he is not a disciple of Jesus: he is a climber with a cassock. There is no humility without humiliation. "
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The temptation towards "careerism", to "climb", even in the Church, is not the way of Jesus, who accepted humiliations. There is no humility without humiliation "and so we ask the Lord to send us" some "to" make us humble ", so as to "better imitate".
This is the warning expressed today by Pope Francis in the homily at Mass celebrated at Casa Santa Marta, inspired by today's Gospel, (Mk 6: 14-29) which recounts the death of John the Baptist.
Francis highlighted how John the Baptist was sent by God to "show the way", "the way" of Jesus. The "last of the prophets" had the grace to be able to say: "this is the Messiah". “The work of John the Baptist was not so much to preach the coming of Jesus and prepare the people, but to witness to Jesus Christ and witness with his own life. And to bear witness to the path chosen by God for our salvation: the path of humiliation. Paul expresses it so clearly in his Letter to the Philippians: 'Jesus annihilated himself to death, death on the cross'. And this death on the cross, this path of annihilation, of humiliation, is also our path, the path that God shows to Christians to move forward ".
Both John and Jesus, Francis underlined, had the "temptation of vanity, of pride": Jesus "in the desert with the devil, after fasting"; John in front of the doctors of the law who asked him if he was the Messiah: he could have replied that he was "his minister", yet "humbled himself". Both "had authority before the people", their preaching was "authoritative". And both have known "moments of subsidence", a sort of "human and spiritual depression" Francis called it: Jesus in the Garden of Olives and John in prison, tempted by the "worm of doubt" if Jesus really was the Messiah.
Both, then, "end in the most humiliating way": Jesus with the death on the cross, "the death of the lowest criminals, terrible physically and even morally", "naked before the people" and "his mother". John the Baptist "beheaded in prison by a guard" by order of a king "weakened by vices", "corrupted by the whim of a dancer and the hatred of an adulteress", Herodias and her daughter.
"The prophet, the great prophet, the greatest man born of a woman - as Jesus qualifies him - and the Son of God have chosen the path of humiliation. It is the way they show us and which we Christians must follow. In fact, in the Beatitudes it is emphasized that the path is that of humility ".
You cannot be "humble without humiliation," said the Pope.
His invitation to Christians is therefore to draw lessons from today's "message" of the Word of God. "When we try to make ourselves seen, in the Church, in the community, to have a position or something else, that is the way of the world, it is a worldly road, it is not the way of Jesus. And this temptation to be a climber can also happen to pastors.' But if a shepherd does not follow this path, he is not a disciple of Jesus: he is a climber with a cassock. There is no humility without humiliation."