During the Mass in the chapel of Casa Santa Marta on November 29, 2018, Pope Francis warned against the “paganizaiton” of Christian life.
In his homily, reported by Vatican News, the Holy Father commented on the First Reading (Revelation 18:1-2.21-23; 19:1-3.9a) on the destruction of Babylon, city “of luxury, of self-sufficiency, of the power of this world,” “dwelling place of demons, haunt of all impure spirits”; and the Gospel (Luke 21:20-28) of the devastation of Jerusalem, the Holy City.
“The sound of the players of zithers and of musicians, of flute and trumpet players, shall be heard in thee no more,” quoted the Pontiff. There will no longer be beautiful celebrations, no . . . “craftsman of any craft shall be found in thee no more . . . because you are not a city of work but of corruption — and the sound of the millstone shall be heard in thee no more; and the light of a lamp shall shine in thee no more — it will be, perhaps, an enlightened city, but without light, not luminous; it is a corrupted civilization – the voice of the bridegroom and bride shall be heard in thee no more. There are numerous couples, numerous persons, but there is no longer love.”
“This destruction begins in the interior and ends when the Lord says: ‘That’s enough.” There will come a day when the Lord will say: ‘Enough of this world’s appearances.’ It’s the crisis of a civilization that believes itself proud, sufficient, dictatorial and which ends thus,” explained the Holy Father.
The ruin of Jerusalem, in revenge, is due to “the corruption and infidelity to love; it was not able to recognize the love of God in His Son.” The Holy City “will be trampled by the pagans,” noted Pope Francis
And it is too denounce “the paganization of life, in our case, of the Christian life.” “Do we live as Christians? It seems we do, but in reality our life is pagan . . . when one enters in Babylon’s seduction, and Jerusalem lives like Babylon. There is a wish to do a synthesis that cannot be done. And both will be condemned. Are you a Christian? Do you live like a Christian? Water and oil can’t be mixed; they are always different. It’s the end of a contradictory civilization, which says it’s Christian but which lives as a pagan.”
“There are tragedies, also in our life but in face of them, it’s necessary to look at the horizon, because we have been saved and the Lord will come to save us. And this teaches us to live the world’s trials not in a pact with worldliness or with paganism, which leads us to destruction, but in hope, detaching ourselves from this worldly and pagan seduction and looking at the horizon, while waiting for Christ, the Lord. Hope is our strength: let us go on, but we must ask this of the Holy Spirit,” continued the Pontiff.
By way of conclusion, Pope Francis invited to think of present-day Babylons. “Today’s great cities will end thus and so will our life, if we continue to lead it on the path of paganism. Let us open our heart with hope and move away from the paganization of Christian life.”