In his homily this morning in the chapel of Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis warned of destruction of people, families and relationships brought on by the attachment to money and greed.
The Holy Father reflected on today’s Gospel which recalls the moment when Jesus is asked to resolve a problem between two brothers arguing over their inheritance.
“How many families have we seen destroyed by the problem of money?,” the Holy Father asked. “Brother against brother, father against son. This is the first result that this attitude of being attached to money does: it destroys!”
“When a person is attached to money, he destroys himself, he destroys the family. Money destroys! It does, doesn’t it? It binds you.”
The Pope observed that while money can serve to bring good things to others, especially in works of human development, an attachment can only bring about the destruction of one’s self.
Referring to Christ’s parables of the rich man who lives to accumulate treasures for himself, the Holy Father said that such greed leads to an idolatry that destroys one’s relationship with others.
“It’s not money, but the attitude, what we call greed. Then too this greed makes you sick, because it makes you think of everything in terms of money,” the Holy Father said.
“It destroys you, it makes you sick. And in the end – this is the most important thing – greed is an instrument of idolatry because it goes along a way contrary to what God has done for us.”
“Saint Paul,” Pope Francis continued, “tells us that Jesus Christ, who was rich, made Himself poor to enrich us. That is the path of God: humility, to lower oneself in order to serve. Greed, on the other hand, takes us on a contrary path: You, who are a poor human, make yourself God for vanity’s sake. It is idolatry!”
The 76 year old pontiff went on to say that for this reason, Christ speaks strongly in the Gospel’s against this attachment to money, which can impede one from trusting in God in moments of need. The path of greed is contrary to the path of God and “destroys all human fraternity.
Concluding his homily, Pope Francis called on the faithful that the path taught by Christ is “not the path of poverty for poverty’s sake” but rather to use “the way of poverty as an instrument, so that God may be God, so that He will be the only Lord.”
“All the goods that we have, the Lord gives them to us to advance the world, to advance humanity, to help, to help others. Today may the Word of the Lord remain in our hearts: ‘Take care to guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not depend on that which they possess.’”