Pope Francis: When the goal is to have a rich Church, it becomes old, lifeless

(Romereports.com) During his morning Mass at the Vatican’s Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis reflected on how the Apostles went about their preaching. He said they didn’t worry about material wealth. Instead, they had faith that God would grant them His gifts.

POPE FRANCIS
“These are the two signs that mark an apostle who lives this gratuity: poverty and the ability to praise the Lord. And when we find apostles who want to build a rich Church and a Church without the gratuitousness of praise, the Church becomes old, the Church becomes an NGO, the Church becomes lifeless. Today we ask the Lord for the grace to acknowledge this generosity: ‘Freely you have received, freely give’.’ It’s about recognizing this gratuity, this gift of God . Let us keep preaching the Gospel this way.”

Despite the challenges, Pope Francis explained that Christians must carry on with the work of the Church. He said the best way to make this happen is through a spirit of poverty.

PARTIAL HOMILY
(Source: Vatican Radio)
“Evangelical preaching flows from gratuitousness, from the wonder of the coming salvation: that which I have freely received I must freely give. This is what they were like at the beginning. St. Peter did not have a bank account, and when he had to pay taxes, the Lord sent him to the sea to catch a fish and find a coin inside it, so that he could pay. Philip, when he met Queen Candace’s finance minister, did not think, ‘Ah, good, let’s set up an organization to support the Gospel …’ No! He did not strike a ‘deal’ with him: he preached, baptized and left.”

“Everything is grace. Everything. And what are the signs of when an apostle lives this gratuity? There are so many, but I will underline only two: First, poverty. The proclamation of the Gospel must follow the path of poverty. The testimony of this poverty: I have no wealth, my wealth is the gift I received, God: this gratuity is our wealth! And this poverty saves us from becoming managers, entrepreneurs … The works of the Church must be brought forward, and some are a little complex, but with a heart of poverty, not with the heart of an investment broker or an entrepreneur…

“These are the two signs that mark an apostle who lives this gratuity: poverty and the ability to praise the Lord. And when we find apostles who want to build a rich Church and a Church without the gratuitousness of praise, the Church becomes old, the Church becomes an NGO, the Church becomes lifeless. Today we ask the Lord for the grace to acknowledge this generosity: ‘Freely you have received, freely give’. It’s about recognizing this gratuity, this gift of God . Let us keep preaching the Gospel in this way.”

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