(Vatican Radio) We cannot serve God well if we hunger after power and wealth. That was Pope Francis’ message as he reflected on the daily readings at his Santa Marta Mass on Tuesday morning.
Pope Francis began his homily by saying that if we want to be good and faithful servants of the Lord, we must guard against dishonestly and the pursuit of power. But how often, he said, do we see or hear ourselves saying, even in our own homes, that “I’m in charge here?” Jesus taught us that leaders are those who serve others, and if we want to be first, we must become the servant of all. The Pope stressed that Jesus turns the values of our world upside-down, showing that the search for power is an obstacle to becoming a servant of the Lord
A second obstacle, he continued, is dishonesty which can also be found in the life of the Church. Jesus told us that we cannot serve two masters – God and money, the Pope warned, so we have to choose to serve one or the other. Dishonesty, he continued, is not just being a sinner, since we are all sinners and can repent of those sins. But dishonesty, he said, is being duplicitous and playing one hand off against the other, playing the ‘God’ card and the ‘world’ card at the same time.
These obstacles of dishonesty and the pursuit of power, the Pope said, take away our peace of mind and leave us anxious, with an ‘itch’ in our hearts. In this way, he said, we live in constant tension, concerned only about appearances and the worldly desires of fame and fortune. We cannot serve the Lord like this, he insisted, so we ask to be freed from these obstacles in order that we may find serenity of body and mind.
We are not slaves, but children of God, Pope Francis said, and when we serve Him freely we feel deep peace in our hearts. We hear the voice of the Lord calling “Come, come, come, good and faithful servant”. We all want to be faithful servants of the Lord, he said, but we cannot do it on our own and so we ask God for the grace to overcome these obstacles and to serve Him freely with peace in our hearts.
Pope Francis concluded by saying we must constantly remind ourselves that we are unworthy servants, unable to do anything on our own. Instead, he said, we must ask God to open our hearts and let the Spirit in, to remove these obstacles and to transform us into children whose hearts are free to serve the Lord.