The Pope spoke of poverty today at Casa Santa Marta, Vatican Radio reported, as the issue of poverty and finances is in Vatican news for two other reasons.
An interview the Pope gave to a Dutch newspaper produced by the homeless was published today, and this week in Rome, two books were released rehashing accusations of Vatican financial mismanagement.
In the Pope’s homily, he said there are people in the Church who “instead of serving, of thinking of others, of laying the foundations, are served by the Church: ‘climbers,’ those who are attached to money. And how many priests and Bishops like this have we seen? It’s sad to speak of it, isn’t it? The radical character of the Gospel, of the call of Jesus Christ: to serve, to be at the service [of others], of not stopping for oneself, going out to others always, being forgetful of oneself.
“And the comfort of the state: I have reached a certain state and I live comfortably, without integrity, like those Pharisees Jesus spoke about, who go out into the public square to be seen by others.”
But, the Pope said that he is given great joy by meeting the many people in the Church who are dedicated to serving like Christ.
“I tell you how much joy I have,” Pope Francis said, “what moves me, when in this Mass some priests come up and greet me: ‘O Father, I have come here to find my own people, because for 40 years I have been a missionary in the Amazon.’ Or a sister who says, ‘I have worked for 30 years in a hospital in Africa.’ Or when I find a little sister who for 30, 40 years is working in the department of the hospital with the disabled, always smiling. This is called ‘serving,’ this is the joy of the Church: going out to others, always; going out to others and giving life. This is what Paul did: serving.”
Jesus, the Pope said, “makes us see this model in Paul,” this “Church that never stops” that “always goes forward and shows us the path.”
Saint Paul “boasts of serving Him, of being chosen, of having the strength of the Holy Spirit.”
He was the servant who served, the Pope said, “he ministered, laying the foundation, that is, announcing Jesus Christ” and “he never stopped to take advantage of his position, of his authority, of being served. He was a minister, a servant in order to serve, not to be served.”
“Instead,” the Pope said, “when the Church is tepid, closed in on itself, businesslike, it cannot be said to be a Church that serves, that is at the service [of others], but rather [it must be said] that it is using others. May the Lord give us the grace He gave to Paul, that point of pride of always going forward, always, renouncing, time and again, its own comfort; and may He save us from temptations, from those temptations which at their base are temptations to a double life: I see myself as a minister, that is, as one who serves, but at the base I am served by others.”