In his Friday morning Mass, Pope Francis reflected on the Gospel reading where Jesus pushes merchants from the Temple because they turned the house of prayer into a den of thieves. The Pope said, even nowadays, Christians make those same mistakes.
"When those who are in the Temple – be they priests, lay people, secretaries, who manage the ministry of the Temple...when they become business people the community is scandalized. And we are responsible for this. The laity is too! Everyone. Because if I see this happening in my parish, I need to have courage and tell it directly the pastor.”
The Pope then added that there are two sins that a community cannot forgive. One is a priest who is obsessed with money. The other, a priest who disrespects people. He also explained that Salvation is free.
SUMMARY OF POPE'S MASS
(Source: Vatican Radio)
"People will forgive a weak priest or pastoral minister, but they will not forgive a greedy one or one who mistreats people, said Pope Francis at Mass Friday morning as he marked the feast of Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary with a prayer that she help us keep the Lord's Temple clean.
Basing his homily on the Gospel of the Day in which Jesus drives the merchants from the Temple because they had turned the house of prayer into a den of thieves, Pope Francis said in doing so Jesus was purifying the Temple of God because it had been profaned and with it the People of God. The Temple had been defiled with the gravest of sins: scandal.
"People are good – continued Pope Francis- people went to the Temple and did not look at these things, they sought God and prayed ... but they had to change their money into coins to make offers". The people of God did not go to the Temple for these people, for those who were selling things, they went because it was the Temple of God" and "there was corruption that scandalized the people". Pope Francis recalled the biblical story of Anna, a humble woman, mother of Samuel, who goes to the temple to ask for the grace of a child: "she whispered her prayers silently" while the priest and his two sons were corrupt, they exploited the pilgrims, they scandalized the people. "I think of how our attitude can scandalize people - said Pope Francis – with unpriestly habits in the Temple: the scandal of doing business, the scandal of worldliness ... How often when we enter a church do we see – even today – do we see a price list hanging there "for baptism, blessings, Mass intentions". And people are scandalized".