(Vatican Radio) The riches and the cares of the world “choke the Word of God,” said Pope Francis at Mass this morning at the Casa Santa Marta. The Pope pointed out that our life is set on three pillars: election, covenant, and promise, adding that we must trust the Father in living in the present without worrying about what will happen.
“No one can serve two masters.” Pope Francis began his homily with the words of Christ in today’s Gospel, where He focuses on the theme of riches and cares. Jesus, the Pope said, “has a clear idea on this subject”: they are “the riches and cares of the world” that choke the Word of God, they are the thorns spoken of in the Parable of the Sower, that choke the seed that has fallen on the ground:
“The riches and cares of the world choke the Word of God and do not allow it to grow. And the Word dies, because it is not cared for: it is choked. In that case you serve riches or you serve cares, but you don’t serve the Word of God. And this also has a temporal sense, because the Parable is somewhat constructed – the discourse of Jesus in the Parable – in time, is it not? Don’t worry about tomorrow, about what you will do tomorrow. . . . And also the Parable of the Sower is built on time: he sows, then the rain comes and it grows. Simply, we remove from time.”
The Pope emphasised that our life is founded on three pillars: the past, the present and the future. The pillar of the past, he explained, “is that of the election of the Lord.” Every one of us can say “the Lord has chosen me, has loved me,” “He has said to me ‘come’,” and with Baptism “he has chosen me to go along a road, the Christian road.” The future, on the other hand, concerns “walking towards a promise”, the Lord “has made us a promise.” Finally, the present “is our response to the God Who is so good that He has chosen me.” The Pope said, “He makes a promise, he proposes a covenant with me, and I make a covenant with Him.” So these are the three pillars: “election, covenant, and promise”:
“The three pillars of the whole story of the Salvation. But when our heart enters into what Jesus explains to us, it takes away time: it takes away the past, it takes away the future, and one is confused in the present. For one who is attached to riches, neither the past nor the future is important; he has everything here. Wealth is an idol. I don’t need a past, a promise, an election: nothing. He who is worried about what will happen, takes away his relation with the future – “but can one do this?” – and the future becomes futuristic, but no, it doesn’t direct you to any promise: you remain confused, you remain alone.”
This is why Jesus tells us we must either follow the Kingdom of God or the riches and cares of the world. The Pope said with Baptism “we are chosen in love” by Him, we have “a Father that has sent us along a road.” And so “even the future is joyful,” because “we are walking towards a promise.” The Lord “is faithful, He does not disappoint” and so we too are called to do “what we can” without disappointment, “without forgetting that we have a Father who chose us in the past.” Riches and cares, he warned, are the two things “that make us forget our past,” that make us live as if we didn’t have a Father. And even our present is a present that doesn’t work”:
“Forgetting the past, not accepting the present, disfiguring the future: that’s what riches and cares do. The Lord tells us: “But be calm! Seek the Kingdom of God, and everything else will come.’ Let us ask the Lord for the grace not to fool ourselves with worries, with the idolatry of riches, and to always remember that we have a Father Who has chosen us; to remember that this Father promises us a good thing, which is walking towards that promise; and having courage to take the present as it comes. Let us ask this grace from the Lord.”
The Holy Father concelebrated Mass with Bishop Arturo González of Santa Clara in Cuba and others. Employees of the Vatican Museums were in attendance at the liturgy.