Pope Francis celebrates morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae


Pope’s Morning Homily: It’s Idolatry to Be Attached to the Here and Now

At Casa Santa Marta, Warns Against 2 Traps Related to Forgetting That This Life Is Passing


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Pope Francis today warned against a certain “idolatry” that inordinately focuses on the beauties of this life, forgetting that earthly things are passing away and that, anyway, their Creator is so much more beautiful.

According to Vatican Radio, the Pope today in Casa Santa Marta considered the transitory nature of our earthly life and the glory of God, reflected in the psalm, “The heavens proclaim the Glory of God.” 

People are too often incapable of looking beyond the beauty of earthly things towards the transcendent, he said, describing this attitude as the idolatry of immanence.

“They are attached to this idolatry: they are astonished by the power and energy (of these things). They haven’t thought about how much greater is their Sovereign because He created them, He who is the origin and the author of this beauty.”

“It’s an idolatry to gaze at all these beautiful things without believing that they will fade away,” he said. 

“And,” he remarked, “the fading too has its beauty…”

Pope Francis said we all run the risk of “this idolatry of being attached to the beauty of the here and now, without (a sense of) the transcendence.”

“It’s the idolatry of immanence,” he said. “We believe that these things are almost gods and they will last forever. We forget about that fading away.”

The other trap or idolatry into which many people fall, warned the Pope, is that of our daily habits which make our hearts deaf. He said Jesus illustrated this when he described the men and women during the time of Noah or Sodom who ate and drank and got married without caring about anything else until the flood came or the Lord rained down burning sulphur. 

“Everything is according to habit. Life is like that: We live in this way, without thinking about the end of this way of living. This too is an idolatry: to be attached to our habits, without thinking that this will come to an end. But the Church makes us look at the end of these things. Even our habits can be thought of as gods. The idolatry? Life is like this and we go forward in this way… And just as this beauty will finish in another (kind of) beauty, our habits will finish in an eternity, in another (kind of) habit. But there is God!”

Pope Francis went on to urge his listeners to direct their gaze toward the one God who is beyond “the end of created things” so as not to repeat the fatal error of looking back, as Lot’s wife did. We must be certain, he stressed, that if life is beautiful then its end will be just as beautiful as well. 

“We believers are not people who look back, who yield, but people who always go forward.”  

“We must always go forward in this life,” the Holy Father said, “looking at the beautiful things and with the habits that we all have but without deifying them. They will end. Be they these small beauties, which reflect a bigger beauty, our own habits for surviving in the eternal song, contemplating the glory of God.”

Readings provided by the US bishops’ conference:

Memorial of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini, Virgin

Lectionary: 495

Reading 1

WIS 13:1-9

All men were by nature foolish who were in ignorance of God,

and who from the good things seen did not succeed in knowing him who is,

and from studying the works did not discern the artisan;

But either fire, or wind, or the swift air,

or the circuit of the stars, or the mighty water,

or the luminaries of heaven, the governors of the world, they considered gods.

Now if out of joy in their beauty they thought them gods,

let them know how far more excellent is the Lord than these;

for the original source of beauty fashioned them.

Or if they were struck by their might and energy,

let them from these things realize how much more powerful is he who made them.

For from the greatness and the beauty of created things

their original author, by analogy, is seen.

But yet, for these the blame is less;

For they indeed have gone astray perhaps,

though they seek God and wish to find him.

For they search busily among his works,

but are distracted by what they see, because the things seen are fair.

But again, not even these are pardonable.

For if they so far succeeded in knowledge

that they could speculate about the world,

how did they not more quickly find its Lord?

Responsorial Psalm

PS 19:2-3, 4-5AB

R. (2a) The heavens proclaim the glory of God.

The heavens declare the glory of God,

and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.

Day pours out the word to day,

and night to night imparts knowledge.

R. The heavens proclaim the glory of God.

Not a word nor a discourse

whose voice is not heard;

Through all the earth their voice resounds,

and to the ends of the world, their message.

R. The heavens proclaim the glory of God.


LK 21:28

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Stand erect and raise your heads

because your redemption is at hand.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.


LK 17:26-37

Jesus said to his disciples:

“As it was in the days of Noah,

so it will be in the days of the Son of Man;

they were eating and drinking,

marrying and giving in marriage up to the day

that Noah entered the ark,

and the flood came and destroyed them all.

Similarly, as it was in the days of Lot:

they were eating, drinking, buying,

selling, planting, building;

on the day when Lot left Sodom,

fire and brimstone rained from the sky to destroy them all.

So it will be on the day the Son of Man is revealed.

On that day, someone who is on the housetop

and whose belongings are in the house

must not go down to get them,

and likewise one in the field

must not return to what was left behind.

Remember the wife of Lot.

Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it,

but whoever loses it will save it.

I tell you, on that night there will be two people in one bed;

one will be taken, the other left.

And there will be two women grinding meal together;

one will be taken, the other left.” 

They said to him in reply, “Where, Lord?”

He said to them, “Where the body is,

there also the vultures will gather.”

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