He thus echoed his message from Thurday evening's homily at the Corpus Christi Mass. He reiterated that the things of this world will not bring happiness, as they end and decay, and leave faithful with nothing of true value.
The Holy Father reflected on the liturgy of today, in which Jesus warns his disciples against earthly treasures, saying: “'Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven ... For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be."
In his homily, Francis warned against three elements in particular: money, vanity and power. Jesus asks us to keep our hearts free from these unnecessary elements, the Pope noted. They leave the faithful as “prisoners,” “weighing down” and “binding” their hearts, he said.
He pointed out two types of hearts faithful can have: a "free heart" or a "slave's heart."
Francis said that a “free heart” makes one’s heart “feel light,” as "it shows us the path that leads to God," and is fulfilled in worshipping God and loving one’s neighbor. The Pontiff pleaded, “please, have a free heart! ... Only with a free heart can you have the treasures of heaven: love, patience, service to others, worship of God. These are the true riches, that cannot be stolen,” whereas the other, worldly riches “encumber” and “chain our hearts.”
A “slave’s heart," Francis said, "is not a bright heart: it will be dark," adding that “if we accumulate the treasures of the earth, we accumulate darkness.” He warned these treasures don’t give joy, but above all, rob our freedom.
The Argentine Pontiff went on to explain the evils of money, power, and vanity.
Despite money having the power to do much good, including providing for one’s family, he noted, it is dangerous because many become obsessed with it. “Do not build your life upon accumulating riches,” he warned.
Those consumed with investing, he noted as an example, will have nothing if the stock market crashes.
Vanity relates to one's desire for "prestige" and "to be seen,"having a prestige to be seen," he said, adding that Jesus "always condemned vanity."
Noting the lawyers of Scripture as an example of vanity, he said they fast, give alms, or pray, they do so just "to be seen."
The vanity, he reiterated, has "no use," as "it ends." Quoting St. Bernard, he said: "'Your beauty will end up being the meal of worms.'"
Using the first reading to illustrate how power can suddenly disolve, the Pope noted the fall of the cruel Queen Athaliah, who reigned for seven years, and then was killed. “The power ends!" He cautioned:" How many great, proud men and women of power are finished in anonymity, in poverty or in prison."
Treasures of Heaven:
After cautioning the faithful, the Pope concluded with what the Lord asks us to accumulate: the “treasures of heaven,” not the elusive “treasures” of money, vanity, and power.