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Pope Francis

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Pope Francis: Faith is not about Earthly power

2015-04-20

During his homily at Casa Santa Marta, the Pope reflected on the Gospel passage in which Jesus multiplies loaves of bread and fish. The Pope stressed the danger of not understanding the true mission of Jesus. He noted that some Christians are driven by worldliness and have a material approach to the Word of God.

POPE FRANCIS
"And this is a daily temptation of Christians, of all of us who are in the Church: the temptation not of the power, of the strength of the Spirit, but the temptation of worldly power. Thus one falls in that religious tepidness which leads to worldliness. It's a tepidness that ends, when it grows and grows in that attitude that Jesus calls hypocrisy.”

The Pope also discussed the testimony of martyrs. He said it was important to follow their example, to avoid the "the temptation of transforming faith into power.”

SUMMARY OF THE POPE'S HOMILY
(Source: Vatican Radio)

Noting that the crowds came looking for Jesus, not out of a sense of religious awe and adoration, but rather for their own material interests, Pope Francis said when we take advantage of faith and are tempted towards power, we run the risk of failing to understand the true mission of Our Lord.

We see this attitude repeatedly in the Gospels, he said, where so many people follow Jesus out of their own interests. Even his own apostles, the Pope said, like the sons of Zebedee who wanted the jobs of "prime minster and finance minister”, they wanted to have power. Instead of bringing to the poor the Good News that Jesus came to free prisoners, to give sight to the blind and freedom to the oppressed, we are tempted to transform this message of healing into a tool of power and to take advantage of our encounter with Jesus.

May the saints and martyrs, the Pope said, awaken us with their witness of following the path of Jesus and announcing the year of grace. When the crowds at Capernaum understand Jesus’ rebuke, they ask him "What can we do to accomplish the works of God?” Jesus answers, "This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.” Pope Francis concluded by praying that God may give us the grace not to fall for the spirit of this world which leads us to live like pagans beneath a veneer of Christianity, but to believe and trust in God and in the one he sent to us.