“But it shall not be so among you.” Pope repeated the unusual sentence several times in his June 28, 2018, homily during the consistory in St. Peter’s Basilica, for the creation of 14 new cardinals.
The words come from the 10th chapter of Mark’s gospel as Jesus and his disciples are on the road to Jerusalem and two of the disciples ask to sit at the Lord’s right and left hand. Jesus knows they are concerned about earthly things such as honor and status.
The Holy Father looked at the new Cardinals and reminded them: “But it shall not be so among you.”
“The Lord’s response is above all an encouragement and a challenge to his disciples to recoup their better part, lest their hearts be spoiled and imprisoned by a worldly mentality blind to what is really important,” the Pope explained. “But it shall not be so among you. The voice of the Lord saves the community from undue introspection and directs its vision, resources, aspirations, and heart to the only thing that counts: the mission.”
The Pope stressed that “the only credible form of authority is born of sitting at the feet of others in order to serve Christ. It is the authority that comes from never forgetting that Jesus, before bowing his head on the cross, did not hesitate to bow down and wash the feet of the disciples. This is the highest honor that we can receive, the greatest promotion that can be awarded us: to serve Christ in God’s faithful people.”
The Holy Father concluded with an admonition to the Cardinals to maintain humility and poverty, quoting the words of Saint Pope John XXIII:
“Born poor, but of humble and respectable folk, I am particularly happy to die poor, having distributed, in accordance with the various needs and circumstances of my simple and modest life in the service of the poor and of Holy Church which has nurtured me, whatever came into my hands – and it was very little – during the years of my priesthood and episcopate.”