In his homily reported by Vatican News, the Pope meditated on the “three stages” of the poverty Jesus asked of the disciples: to be detached from wealth is “the condition to begin”. This requires having “a poor heart”. “If apostolic work requires structures or organizations that seem to be a sign of wealth, use them well,” said the pope, “but with detachment … If you want to follow the Lord, choose the path of poverty, and if you have riches because the Lord has given them to you, use them to serve others, with a detached heart. The disciple must not be afraid of poverty, or the opposite: he must be poor. ”
The second form of poverty is “humbly receiving persecutions, tolerating persecutions”, persecutions “of slander, rumors”, “jealousies”, “small persecutions in the neighborhood, in the parish”.
The Pope also spoke of physical persecution: “Yesterday, in the Synod Hall, a bishop from one of those countries where there is persecution, said that a young Catholic was taken by a group of young people who hated the Church, fundamentalists: he was beaten and thrown into a cistern and they threw him mud and at the end, when the mud came to his neck: ‘For the last time: do you renounce Jesus Christ? Christ?’ -‘ No!’ They threw a stone and killed him. We have all heard it. And that does not date from the first centuries: it happened two months ago! It’s an example. But how many Christians today suffer physical persecution: “Oh, he blasphemed! On the gallows!”
The third form of poverty identified by the pope: solitude, abandonment and especially “the solitude of the end”, lived by Saint Paul in the first reading (2 Tim 4, 10-17b): “All have abandoned me”. And lived by Jesus on the cross: “Father, Father, why have you forsaken me? ”
“I think of the greatest man of humanity, added the pope, and this qualification comes from the mouth of Jesus: John the Baptist …. great preacher, people would be baptized by him. How did he finish? Only; in prison … alone, forgotten, slaughtered by the weakness of a king, the hatred of adultery and the whim of a young girl: thus ends the greatest man in history. ”
“And without going so far,” lamented the Pope, “so often in rest homes, there are priests and nuns who have spent their lives in preaching, they feel alone, alone with the Lord: no one ‘ remembers. ”