BY No Author | January 24 2020 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

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Pope Francis decries building of ‘ecclesiastical careers’ in Church

In a recent homily, Pope Francis warned laity and clergy that ‘you can’t buy the Lord’s gifts’

Pope Francis reminded the Faithful that it is not Christian to seek favours in order to grow ecclesiastical careers.

Celebrating Mass at the Casa Santa Marta on Tuesday January 21, the Holy Father said that being a Christian, a priest of a bishop is a free gift from the Lord and that holiness consists in ‘guarding’ the gift that we receive gratuitously, not due to our own merits.

Pope Francis was reflecting on the Responsorial Psalm and from the First Reading of the day’s liturgy.

King David

He said that the Psalm recalls the election of David as king of Israel, after the Lord rejected Saul for not obeying Him.

Highlighting how Christians are anointed with oil when Baptised, Pope Francis said that God urges Samuel to look beyond appearances as ‘it does not matter what man sees: in fact, man sees the appearance but the Lord sees the heart.’

He recalled how David’s brothers fought the Philistines to defend the kingdom of Israel, stating ‘they had merits,’ but added that God chose the last of them.

He described him as ‘a restless boy’ who grazed the flock and said the Scriptures tell us he was called David and was a handsome youth, ‘making a splendid appearance.’

After the anointment, he continued, ‘the spirit of the Lord rushed upon David.’

God’s choice

The Holy Father said it prompts Catholics to reflect on why the Lord chose a ‘normal’ boy, who perhaps sometimes acted in a silly manner as many young people do.

He was not a pious boy, ‘who prayed every day,’ the Pope continued, and that his seven brothers ‘had more merits than him.’

However, Pope Francis explained that ‘the most limited, the one who had no titles, was the one to be chosen,’ which shows us the ‘gratuitousness of God’s choice.’

Pope Francis invited the Catholics present to reflect on their own presence at Mass, asking, ‘why did the Lord choose us?’

‘Not because, he comes from a Christian family or a Christian culture,’ he said, adding that in fact, many people end up rejecting the Lord.

He then stated that priests and bishops receive their anointment for free.

He said: “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.

Lord’s gift

The Pope stated that this is not the way of a true Christian.

“Being Christian, being baptised, being ordained priests and bishops is pure gratuitousness. You can’t buy the Lord’s gifts,” he said.

Pope Francis spoke of what we can do to ‘be holy’ and how Christian holiness is ‘to preserve the Lord’s gift, nothing more,’ behaving in such a way that the Lord always stays with us.

He decried the attitude of those who climb the ladder of the Church in pursuit of a career in the Church and that being anointed as a bishop is a gift.

Urging Christians to live with humility, the said Christians should guard God’s gift in choosing them.

Grace

Speaking of the gift of the Holy Spirit, he said: “When the Lord elected us, He gave us the Holy Spirit. And that’s pure grace.”

Concluding his homily, he asked Christians not 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.

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