(Vatican Radio) Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State, is on a six day official visit to Ukraine where he will meet with both Church and state officials. On Friday morning he celebrated Holy Mass at the Cathedral church of St Alexander in Kiev and delivered a homily on the theme of the gospel warning “not to store up treasures on earth.”
Cardinal Parolin sympathized with the challenge of following this command of the Lord. Many countries of the world, including the Ukraine, must struggle against dishonesty, unfair wealth, theft of community assets, all for the accumulation of individual fortunes. Corruption and the concentration of money in the hands of a few are among the causes that impoverish the people, destroy our freedom, kill the dreams for a better world and the right to life for all.
Christians, Cardinal Parolin said, must always fight to ensure that justice is done, but without ever resorting to violence. We are also called to detach from what might be hidden in our hearts. We can preach justice but what good is it if on the inside we are victims of jealousy, envy and the desire for success at any cost?
We must instead render the way we look at others in a simple, pure way, being transparent and without ulterior motives. Bishops, priests, religious men and women must do this above all because of the respect and honour given to such people. “We risk most of all,” said the Cardinal, “because we are respected and honored, and therefore we believe we are above every judgment …” Often, he says, we allow ourselves things that create scandal: wealth that we do not deserve, pride and arrogance in the use of authority granted to us, a way of life that Pope Francis calls "worldly."
Moths and rust destroy all of these false riches. To find true freedom we must look up to the sky: our treasure is there, it is God's love. This love caused the master to lose everything, to be nailed to a cross while being spat upon and ridiculed. But this love is faithful and saves us.
Everything that takes us away from the God who awaits us in heaven, at the end of the few days of our lives, should be cut with a sword, and separated from us. Also because it makes us lose time and vitality. Frustrations and petty desires prevent us from seeking the things above; we have infinitely more value than what we can accumulate on this earth.
Cardinal Parolin concluded that the Eucharist that we celebrate is the gift of the Bread of heaven. In him, in Jesus who offers himself to us, we have the anticipation of the heavenly treasure, one of the goods that no one can take away from us who constitute the “tent” which was planted in the field of our human history.
Cardinal Parolin’s visit to Kiev lasts until Monday, 20 June.