(AsiaNews) We must ask God to send us priests and nuns with hearts for Him alone, free from the idolatry of vanity, power, pride and money. This was the prayer for vocations said today by Pope Francis during Mass celebrated at Casa Santa Marta.
Vatican Radio reports that the Pope was commenting on the Gospel passage of the rich man who throws himself on his knees before Jesus to ask him what he must do to inherit eternal life. This man - the Pope pointed out - "had a great desire to hear the words of Jesus" he was "a good man, because from his youth he had kept the commandments. A good man", but "this was not enough for him: he wanted more. The Holy Spirit propelled him. Jesus looks at him with love and proposes: "Sell everything and come with me to preach the Gospel". But on hearing these words, he "frowned and went away, sad" because he had many possessions.
"His heart was restless, because the Holy Spirit that propelled him to get close to Jesus and follow Him. His was a full heart, and he did not have the courage to empty it. And he made his choice: money. His heart was full of money... But he was not a thief, a criminal, no, no, no! He was a good man, he never stole, never! He never cheated: he had honestly earned his money. But his heart was imprisoned there, it was tied to money and was not free to choose. Money chose for him".
"How many young people - he continued - feel this ' call ' to get closer to Jesus in their heart, and are enthusiastic", "not ashamed to kneel" before him, to "give a public demonstration of their faith in Jesus Christ" and " want to follow him, but when their heart is full of something else and they are not brave enough to empty it, they step back, and that joy becomes sadness". Even today there are many young people who have a vocation, but sometimes there is something "that stops them".
"We need to pray that the hearts of these young people can be emptied, emptied of other interests, other loves, so that their hearts becomes free. And this is the prayer for vocations: ' Lord, send us, send nuns, send us priests, defend them from idolatry, the idolatry of vanity, the idolatry of pride , the idolatry of power, the idolatry of money. This is our prayer is to prepare these hearts to closely follow Jesus ".
The man of this Gospel - concluded the Pope - is "so good but so very unhappy". So are many young people today. This is why we need to raise an intense prayer to God. "This is the prayer: Lord, help these young people, so that they may be free and not slaves, so they may only have hearts for you, and so that the call of the Lord may come, may bear fruit. This is the prayer for vocations. We must say a lot of prayers. But, always be careful: there are vocations. We must help them grow, so that the Lord can enter into those hearts and give this unspeakable joy that is full of glory that every person who closely follows Jesus has".