Here is a ZENIT translation of the address Pope Francis gave today before and after praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
Before the Angelus:
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
Today, Jesus invites us to reflect on two opposing ways of life: the way of the world and that of the Gospel. The spirit of the world is not the spirit of Jesus. And He does so through the parable of the unfaithful and corrupt administrator, who is praised by Jesus, despite his dishonesty (cf. Lk 16.1 to 13). We must point out immediately that this administrator is not presented as a model to follow, but as an example of slyness. This man is accused of mismanagement of the affairs of his master, and before being removed, cleverly tries to win the favor of debtors, condoning their part of the debt to make such a future. Commenting on this behavior, Jesus observes: “For the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light.” (v. 8).
In this worldly astuteness we are called to respond with Christian astuteness, which is a gift of the Holy Spirit. This refers to depart from the spirit and values of the world, which the devil likes, in order to live according to the Gospel. And worldliness, how is it manifested? Worldliness is manifested by attitudes of corruption, deception, abuse of power, and constitutes the most wrong road, the road of sin, because one thing brings you to another! It’s like a chain (vicious cycle), even if – it is true – that it is generally the easiest one to follow. Instead, the spirit of the Gospel requires a serious style of life–serious but joyful, full of joy!–serious and challenging, marked by honesty, fairness, respect for others and their dignity, and a sense of duty. And this is the Christian astuteness!
The journey of life necessarily involves a choice between two roads: between honesty and dishonesty, between fidelity and infidelity, between selfishness and altruism, between good and evil. You can not oscillate between one and the other, because they move on different and conflicting logics. The prophet Elijah said to the people of Israel that went on these two avenues: “How long will you straddle the issue?” (See 1 Kings 18:21). It’s beautiful image. It is important to decide which direction to take and then, once you have chosen the right one, walk it with energy and determination, relying on God’s grace and the support of His Spirit. Strong and categorical is the conclusion of the Gospel passage: “No servant can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other.” (Lk 16:13).
With this teaching, Jesus now urges us to make a clear choice between Him and the spirit of the world, including the logic of corruption, abuse of power and greed and that of righteousness, meekness and sharing. The behavior and mentality of someone corrupt are like those of a person on drugs: you think you can use it and stop when you want. It starts with little: a tip here, a bribe over there … And between this and that, slowly one loses his freedom. Even corruption produces addiction, and generates poverty, exploitation, and suffering. And how many victims are there in the world today! How many victims of this widespread corruption. But when we try to follow the logic of the Gospel, integrity, clarity of intentions and behavior, of fraternity, we become artisans of justice and open horizons of hope for humanity. Through the grace and gift of ourselves to our brothers, we serve the right master, God.
May the Virgin Mary help us to choose at every opportunity and at all costs, the right way, even finding the courage to go against the current, in order to follow Jesus and His Gospel.[Original Text: Italian] [Translation by Deborah Castellano Lubov]
After the Angelus:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Yesterday, in Codrongianos (Sassari) was proclaimed Blessed Elisabetta Sanna, a mother of a family. Left as a widow, she devoted herself entirely to prayer and to serving the sick and poor. Her testimony is a model of evangelical charity, animated by faith.
Today, in Genoa, the National Eucharistic Congress concludes. I address a special greeting to all the faithful gathered there, and I hope that this event of grace, will revive faith of the Italian people in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, in which we worship Christ, the source of life and hope for all people.
On Tuesday, I will go to Assisi for the prayer meeting for peace, thirty years since that historic encounter of St. John Paul II. I invite parishes, church associations and individual believers around the world to live that day as a day of prayer for peace. Today, more than ever, we need peace, in this war that is all over the world. We pray for peace! Following the example of St. Francis, man of brotherhood and meekness, we are all called to offer to the world a strong testimony of our common commitment to peace and reconciliation among peoples. So Tuesday, everyone united in prayer: everyone take some time, as one can do, to pray for peace. All over the world together.
I greet with affection all of you, Romans and pilgrims from various countries. In particular, I greet the faithful of the diocese of Cologne and those of Marianopoli.
And I wish you all a good Sunday. And please, do not forget to pray for me. Good lunch and goodbye![Original Text: Italian] [Translation by Deborah Castellano Lubov]