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Pope’s Morning Homily: Jesus Turns World’s Values Upside Down

At Casa Santa Marta, warns against the “I’m in charge here” attitude

(From Vatican Radio)

Pope Francis began his homily by saying that if we want to be good and faithful servants of the Lord, we must guard against dishonestly and the pursuit of power. But how often, he said, do we see or hear ourselves saying, even in our own homes, that “I’m in charge here?”

Jesus taught us that leaders are those who serve others, and if we want to be first, we must become the servant of all. The Pope stressed that Jesus turns the values of our world upside-down, showing that the search for power is an obstacle to becoming a servant of the Lord

A second obstacle, he continued, is dishonesty which can also be found in the life of the Church. Jesus told us that we cannot serve two masters – God and money, the Pope warned, so we have to choose to serve one or the other. Dishonesty, he continued, is not just being a sinner, since we are all sinners and can repent of those sins. But dishonesty, he said, is being duplicitous and playing one hand off against the other, playing the ‘God’ card and the ‘world’ card at the same time.

These obstacles of dishonesty and the pursuit of power, the Pope said, take away our peace of mind and leave us anxious, with an ‘itch’ in our hearts. In this way, he said, we live in constant tension, concerned only about appearances and the worldly desires of fame and fortune. We cannot serve the Lord like this, he insisted, so we ask to be freed from these obstacles in order that we may find serenity of body and mind.

We are not slaves, but children of God, Pope Francis said, and when we serve Him freely we feel deep peace in our hearts. We hear the voice of the Lord calling “Come, come, come, good and faithful servant”. We all want to be faithful servants of the Lord, he said, but we cannot do it on our own and so we ask God for the grace to overcome these obstacles and to serve Him freely with peace in our hearts.

Pope Francis concluded by saying we must constantly remind ourselves that we are unworthy servants, unable to do anything on our own. Instead, he said, we must ask God to open our hearts and let the Spirit in, to remove these obstacles and to transform us into children whose hearts are free to serve the Lord.

Readings provided by the US bishops’ conference:

Tuesday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 492

Reading 1

TI 2:1-8, 11-14

Beloved:

You must say what is consistent with sound doctrine,

namely, that older men should be temperate, dignified,

self-controlled, sound in faith, love, and endurance.

Similarly, older women should be reverent in their behavior,

not slanderers, not addicted to drink,

teaching what is good, so that they may train younger women

to love their husbands and children,

to be self-controlled, chaste, good homemakers,

under the control of their husbands,

so that the word of God may not be discredited.

Urge the younger men, similarly, to control themselves,

showing yourself as a model of good deeds in every respect,

with integrity in your teaching, dignity, and sound speech

that cannot be criticized,

so that the opponent will be put to shame

without anything bad to say about us.

For the grace of God has appeared, saving all

and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires

and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age,

as we await the blessed hope,

the appearance of the glory of the great God

and of our savior Jesus Christ,

who gave himself for us to deliver us from all lawlessness

and to cleanse for himself a people as his own,

eager to do what is good.

Responsorial Psalm

PS 37:3-4, 18 AND 23, 27 AND 29

R. (39a) The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.

Trust in the LORD and do good,

that you may dwell in the land and be fed in security.

Take delight in the LORD,

and he will grant you your heart’s requests.

R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.

The LORD watches over the lives of the wholehearted;

their inheritance lasts forever.

By the LORD are the steps of a man made firm,

and he approves his way.

R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.

Turn from evil and do good,

that you may abide forever;

The just shall possess the land

and dwell in it forever.

R. The salvation of the just comes from the Lord.

Alleluia

JN 14:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Whoever loves me will keep my word,

and my Father will love him,

and we will come to him.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel

LK 17:7-10

Jesus said to the Apostles:

“Who among you would say to your servant

who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field,

‘Come here immediately and take your place at table’?

Would he not rather say to him,

‘Prepare something for me to eat.

Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink.

You may eat and drink when I am finished’?

Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded?

So should it be with you.

When you have done all you have been commanded, say,

‘We are unprofitable servants;

we have done what we were obliged to do.’”

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