Pope during Tokyo Mass: seeking success at any price can cost one's own life

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Between a sea of Japan and Vatican flags, the pope entered the Tokyo Dome, a stadium where more than 50,000 people awaited him with enthusiasm.

Along the way, Pope Francis decided to stop the popemobile to personally greet sick people.

In his homily, the pope sent a clear message to the Japanese society, one of the most productive economies with one of the most developed productive systems on the planet. He explained people are not defined by what they can produce. This mentality stifles freedom.

“If we focus all our attention and energy on the frenetic pursuit of productivity and consumerism as the sole criterion for measuring and validating our choices, or defining who we are or what we are worth. How greatly does the eagerness to believe that everything can be produced, acquired or controlled oppress and shackle the soul!”

This is why Pope Francis lamented this unique criteria of competitiveness, because it confuses people more and more.

“Increasingly, the home, school and community, which are meant to be places where we support and help one another, are being eroded by excessive competition in the pursuit of profit and efficiency.”

The pope explained when faced with this, God proposes to trust and seek a broader sense of life.

“Rather, he invites us to re-evaluate our daily decisions and not to become trapped or isolated in the pursuit of success at any cost, including the cost of our very lives.”

To not lose one's own life, Pope Francis explained the secret is to share life gratuitously and welcome all life as is presented, with all its fragility and smallness.

“We are called to be a community that can learn and teach the importance of accepting things that are not perfect, pure or distilled, yet no less worthy of love. Is a disabled or frail person not worthy of love? Someone who happens to be a foreigner, someone who made a mistake, someone ill or in prison: is that person not worthy of love?”

In the end, he assured communities they must be field hospitals prepared to heal wounds with the same passion God has for his children.

Ángeles Conde
Translated: Rachel Dobrzynski

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