» 05/05/2014, 00.00
Pope: Follow Jesus out of love, not vanity, to find power or make money
There are people in the Church who give alms or fast "just to be seen doing it", the "climbers" and "many" who " presented themselves as Church benefactors, but took a lot of money and not always clean money".
City ( AsiaNews ) - We must follow Jesus "out of love" and not, as often
happens, "to show off", nor out of a thirst for power or to make money,
such as those who presented themselves "as benefactors of the Church, but
instead took a lot of money and
not always clean money". This was Pope
Francis' warning at morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, commenting on the Gospel
passage in which Jesus rebukes the people who sought him out just because they
had sated themselves after the multiplication of the loaves and fishes.
Vatican Radio reports the Pope
invited those present to question whether they follow the Lord for love or for
some benefit. "Because
we are all sinners and there is always something we seek, that needs to be
purified in following Jesus and we must work within ourselves to follow Him out
of love". "Jesus
mentions three attitudes that are not good in following Him, or seeking God. First is vanity". This refers to those notables,
those "leaders" who give alms or fast just to be seen". These
leaders wanted to be seen, they liked - to use the right word - they liked to
show off and behaved like real peacocks! That's how they were. And Jesus said,
'No, no, this is wrong. Vanity is not good'. And sometimes, we do things to be
seen, a little vain. This is dangerous, vanity, because it makes us immediately
slip on pride, arrogance, and then everything ends up there. So I ask: How do I
follow Jesus? The good things that I do, do I do them secretly or do I like to
be seen doing them?". "And
I also think of us, us pastors" because "a vain pastor is not good
for the people of God": he may be he a priest or bishop, but "he does
not follow Jesus" if "he is vain".
"The other thing that Jesus
rebukes of those who follow him is power". "Some
follow Jesus, a few, not entirely consciously, somewhat unconsciously, in
search of power, no? The clearest is John and James, the sons of Zebedee, who
asked Jesus for the grace to be the first minister
and deputy prime minister, when the Kingdom comes. And there are climbers in
the Church! There are so many, that are knocking at the door of the Church ...
But if you like it [climbing], go north and climb the Alps, it is far healthier!
not come to Church to climb! And Jesus rebukes those climbers who seek power".
when the Holy Spirit comes do the disciples change. But sin remains in our
Christian life, and it would do us good to ask ourselves: How do I follow
Jesus? For Him alone, even to the Cross, or do I seek power and use the Church
a little', the Christian community, the parish, the diocese to have a little power?".
"The third thing that distances
us from having good intentions is money". "Those
who follow Jesus for the money, with money, trying to benefit economically from
the parish, the diocese, the Christian community, hospital, college ... Think
of the first Christian community, which was tempted in this way, Simon, Ananias
and Sapphira ... This temptation was there from the beginning, and we have encountered
so many good Catholics, good Christians, friends, benefactors of the Church, who
even received so many different honors ... many! Only for it to be discovered
that they had made obscure deals: they were real opportunists, and they made a
lot of money! They presented themselves as benefactors of the Church, and took
a lot of money and not always clean money".
"We ask the Lord for the
grace - concluded the Pope - that the Holy Spirit give us to follow Him with
good intentions: only Him. Without vanity, without the desire for power and without
the desire for money".
Pope: Christians and the temptation to "sell ourselves" to be "normal" and "like everyone else"
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