Pope Francis has said the Church is not for accumulating riches, but managing them with generosity.
During Francis’ morning homily at his daily Mass at Casa Santa Marta, he made this observation, and reflected on the first Christian community guided by the Apostles and how that ties to the Church today.
The Pope recalled the passage from the Acts of the Apostles describing the life of the first Christian community and went on to stress two elements are signs of a community being ‘reborn’: harmony and the common good.
These two elements bring the Holy Spirit to a community, he said, noting that only the Spirit can bring harmony, since he “is the harmony between the Father and son” and the gift that makes harmony in the first place.
He also pointed out that to those who suffer and endure trials will one day rejoice, as is promised in the Beatitudes.
Turning to the common good, the Pope noted that Christians are not to hold on to wealth, but to put it to the service of others in need. The Pope said it is good if someone rich uses their wealth to help others.
Another theme the Pontiff underscored was how difficult it is to have patience in times of difficulty.
To those suffering, the Pope noted, “Jesus promises you many beautiful things and peace in abundance.” If you’ve been persecuted, Francis said, “You will have a hundred times more.”
The Holy Father noted that in spite of all the problems in the first community of Christians, the community was still reborn, by the Holy Spirit who purified it “in the midst of difficulties.”
Given this, the Pope said, those who have patience and “bear problems, endure hardship, endure slander, withstand diseases, bear the pain” of the loss of a loved one, will one day have peace and be rewarded.
The Holy Father closed inviting the faithful to bring harmony, not internal division, to their parishes, dioceses, and lives.
Francis also reminded them to be at the service of others, especially the poor, and never to accumulate wealth, but use it to help the needy.