Pope's Morning Homily: Rivalry and Vainglory Weaken the Church

Invites Faithful to Place the Needs of Others Before Their Own

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When no one seeks his own interests and is genuinely grateful, then there is harmony in the Church. This was the main theme of Pope Francis’ homily during his morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta today.

He reflected on the First reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians, in which the Apostle says to “do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves.»

According to Vatican Radio, the Pope noted that often in churches, parishes and schools, we can find rivalry and vainglory, referring to them as “two worms that eat the fabric of the Church, weakening Her.”

“Rivalry and vainglory go against this harmony, this agreement. Instead of rivalry and vainglory, what does Paul recommend? ‘Rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves,’” the Pope said.  

“[St. Paul] felt this himself. He qualifies himself as ‘not worthy to be called an apostle,’ the least one. He even strongly humbles himself there.”

Noting that the Church celebrates today the memorial of St. Martin de Porres, the Pope said that the example set by the “humble Dominican friar” is something that Christians should aspire to. St. Martin’s spirituality, he said, was in service; a spirituality that the first reading calls all to follow.

The Holy Father also spoke on today’s Gospel, in which Jesus invites one of the Pharisees to invite to a banquet those who “have no ability to repay you.” Jesus, the Pope said, urges to “not take the road of seeking repayment.”

«This is gratuity!” the Pope exclaimed. “When there is harmony in a Church, there is unity, no one seeks his or her own interests, and there is an attitude of gratefulness. I do good; I don’t strike a deal with good.”

Concluding his homily, the Pope invited the faithful to ask themselves if they have a spirit of gratitude or of seeking vainglory.

“Is this spirit, this sentiment of love, unanimity, concord, without selfishness or vainglory, of humility, is this vision that others are superior to us, in our parish, in our community … and perhaps we will find that there is something to improve. Now, how can I help to improve this?” he asked.

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Junno Arocho Esteves

Newark, New Jersey, USA Bachelor of Science degree in Diplomacy and International Relations.

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