Pope: not "functionalism" , but peace and joy sign of God's presence in the Church
Vatican City ( AsiaNews) - "Functionalism" and excellent organization that risks becoming a power struggle, do not show the presence of God in the Church, but the "peace and joy" gifted by the presence and respect for the elderly and children, experience and future.
This was Pope Francis' message at
morning Mass celebrated at Casa Santa Marta . As
reported by Vatican Radio , the Pope commented on the attitude of the disciples
who had programs , plans for the future organization of the nascent Church and argued
about who was the greatest. This
prevented them from doing good in the name of Jesus to those who did not belong to their group. But
Jesus surprises them, moving the center of the discussion from organization to
children: " For he that is least among you all - he says - will be the greatest
Thus, in the reading of the prophet Zechariah speaks of the signs of God's presence: "not in nice organization" nor "government moving forward, everything clean and everything perfect," but the elders who sit in the streets and children playing . The risk is to discard both the elderly and children. And Jesus' warning to those who scandalize the little ones is strong: "the future of a people is right here, in the old and in the young. A people that does not take care of their old and their children have no future, because they will have no memory or promise! The old and the children are the future of a people! How common it is to leave them aside, right? Children, we soothe them with a sweet, with a game: ' Do , do , go , go ' . And the old, we do not let them talk , we ignore their advice: ' they are old , poor things ' ... " .
"I understand , the disciples wanted to be efficient, they wanted the Church to move ahead without problems and this can be a temptation for the Church : the Church of functionalism ! The well organized Church! Which is fine, but without memory and without promise! The Church cannot go on like this: it will be a Church of power struggles, a Church of jealousies among the baptized and many other things that exist when there is no memory and no promise. "
Therefore, the "Churches' vitality" does not come from documents and meetings , "from planning and doing things well " : these are all necessary of course, but they are not "the sign of God's presence". "The sign of the presence of God is this, the Lord said : ' Old men and women will sit quietly in the streets of Jerusalem , each with staff in hand for their longevity. The streets of the city will be crawling with children who play in its squares'. Play makes us think of joy: the joy of the Lord. And these elders, seated with a stick in their hand, rest assured, they make us think about peace. Peace and joy: this is the air of the Church".