“An idolatry that kills,” rather, that engages in “human sacrifices,” were the harsh words used by Pope Francis during the Mass this morning, October 23, 2017, to lament the present “rampant consumerism” and “attachment to money.”
Thus, stressed the Pontiff, whose words were reported by Vatican Radio, there are so many people hungry for money and for earthly goods, who already have “so much,” while there are so many “hungry children that don’t have medicines, that don’t have education, that are abandoned.”
“This idolatry makes many people die of hunger,” repeated Francis, who called the attention of those present to the plight of the Rohingya children.
“We think of just one case: of the 200,000 Rohingya children in refugee camps. “There are 800,000 people there” of which “200,000 are children. They have scarcely anything to eat, they are malnourished <and> without medicines,” lamented the Holy Father, who will visit Myanmar in about a month’s time and later Bangladesh.
“Our prayer must be strong: ‘Lord, please touch the heart of these people that adore the god, the god of money,’” continued Francis, adding: “it also touches my heart, so that I won’t fall in to that, that I may be able to see.”
Attachment to the god of money also causes war, even within “the family,” noted the Pope, thinking of the quarrels between brothers or parents over the inheritance. “We all know what happens when the inheritance is at stake: families split and end in hatred,” he observed.
Instead, the only way is to enrich oneself from God. “Wealth, but from God,” he affirmed. It’s not about “contempt for money,” but about “cupidity,” namely, “living attached to the god of money.”
In his reflection, the Pontiff paused on the parable of the rich man addressed in Luke’s Gospel (12:13-21). What this man wanted ended in “rampant consumerism,” it was to have “more goods,” to the point of “nausea.”
Unfortunately, the man who becomes a “slave of money” doesn’t belong to the past, but is “today’s reality,” said Francis, who repeated: “it’s today’s reality.”
“So many men who live to adore money, to make money their god,” he explained. “So many people who live only for this and life has no meaning”; people who accumulate treasures for themselves but don’t know what it “is to be enriched from God.”
“See why our prayer should be strong, seeking, therefore, in God the solid foundation of our existence,” concluded the Pope, who invited all to raise a “strong” prayer so that God will convert men’s heart and not have them “adore the god of money.”
Translation by Virginia M. Forrester