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Pope Francis: It is not Christian to seek favors in order to grow in ecclesiastical careers


In his homily at Casa Santa Marta, the pope explained that “being Christian, being baptized, being ordained priests and bishops is pure gratuitousness.” He said, “You can't buy the Lord's gifts.”

POPE FRANCIS
The Lord has chosen us gratuitously. We didn't pay anything to become Christians. We priests, bishops, didn't pay anything to become priests and bishops. At least, that's what I think, no? There are, yes, those who want to go ahead in the so-called ecclesiastical careers, who behave in a simonical way, seeking influences to become this, there, there... the climbers. No, but this is not Christian.

He also explained that Christian holiness is to “preserve” the gift given gratuitously, and not thanks to individual merits.

SUMMARY OF POPE'S HOMILY
Source: Vatican News

To be a Christian, a priest or a bishop is a free gift from the Lord, Pope Francis said during his homily, and holiness consists in “guarding” this gift which we received gratuitously, and not thanks to our own merits. 

He invited those present to reflect on their own presence at Mass, saying “why did the Lord choose us?” “Not because we come from a Christian family or a Christian culture.” In fact, he said, many such people end up rejecting the Lord. Highlighting the gratuitousness of God’s choice, the pope spoke also of how priests and bishops have received their anointment for free.

“There are, yes, those who want to go ahead in the so-called ecclesiastical careers, who behave in a simonical way, seeking influences, becoming climbers,” he said, but he pointed out that that is not the Christian way. “Being Christian, being baptized, being ordained priests and bishops is pure gratuitousness. You can't buy the Lord's gifts,” he said. 

He urged Christians to live with humility, thus guarding God’s gift of having chosen us. And he spoke of the great gift of the Holy Spirit saying, “When the Lord elected us, He gave us the Holy Spirit, and that's pure grace.”

Pope Francis concluded his homily warning Christians never to forget the people of God. “If we priests forget our flock, if we bishops forget this and feel more important than others, we deny God's gift, he said. “It’s like telling the Holy Spirit we can manage on our own, and that's not Christian. That's not guarding the gift.”

Let us ask the Lord today, he prayed, to give us the grace to give thanks for the great and beautiful gift He has given us, and to preserve it with faithfulness.

Daniel Díaz Vizzi
Translation: Claudia Torres