04/05/2016, 13.31
VATICAN

Pope: Christian communities should live in "harmony", not "peace of mind"

The first is "an inner grace that only the Holy Spirit can make ", the second is a "negotiated", "hypocrite" harmony, in which money plays a key role. "When there is harmony in the Church, in the community, there is courage, the courage to bear witness to the Risen Lord".

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Harmony is not to be confused with the peace of mind: the first is "an inner grace that only the Holy Spirit can bring" and that should prevail in a Christian community; the second is a "negotiated" "hypocrite" harmony in which money plays a key role, said Pope Francis at Mass this morning in Casa Santa Marta, taking a cue from Acts, in which Barnabas sells his field, and delivers the proceeds to the Apostles.

"We - he said - can make arrangements, have a certain peace ... but harmony is an inner grace that only the Holy Spirit can bring. And these communities lived in harmony. And the signs of harmony are two: no one is in need, everything is shared. What do I mean? They had one heart, one soul, and no one considered his property as belonging to him, instead they shared everything. None of their members was ever in want. The true 'harmony' of the Holy Spirit has a very strong relationship with money: money is the enemy of harmony, money is selfish. And for this, the sign that it gives is that no one is lacking, everyone gave something so that no one would be in need".

But after the virtuous example of Barnabas, in the following verses, not included in today’s reading, offer another opposite to the first episode: that of Ananias and Sapphira, a couple pretending to give what they earned from the sale of a field, in reality keeping some of the money for themselves - a choice that will have a bitter price, death. God and money are two masters' whose service is irreconcilable", repeats Francis, who soon after clarifies also a misunderstanding that might arise on the concept of “harmony ". Do not confuse it, he says, with "tranquility." "A community can be very tranquil, do well: things are fine ... But it is not in harmony. I once heard a wise thing from a bishop: 'The diocese is tranquil. But if you touch this issue... or ... this issue or this problem,  war immediately breaks out '; this is negotiated harmony, and this is not that of the Spirit. It is – we could say - a hypocrite’s harmony, like that of Ananias and Saphira with what they did".

Francis concluded by inviting people to read  the Acts of the Apostles about the first Christians and their life together. " encouraging a re-reading of the Acts of the Apostles and their portrayal of the first Christians and their life together. "We will do well," he said, to understand the importance of their fraternal generosity and how to bear witness to such a lifestyle in our daily lives. "The harmony of the Holy Spirit grants us the generosity to possess nothing as our own, while there is someone in need.” The harmony of the Holy Spirit, he added, also fortifies us with courage. “‘With great power the Apostles bore witness to the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great favor was accorded them all:’ namely, courage. When there is harmony in the Church, in the community, there is courage, the courage to bear witness to the Risen Lord."

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