“Faith is not an instrument of power. Martyrs remind us of this”


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ABSTRACT“Faith is not an instrument of power. Martyrs remind us of this” - Vatican Insider LANGUAGE:    Italiano   English      Español www.vaticaninsider.com  :: Monday 20 April 2015 ::  Home ::  News ::  World News ::  Inquiries and Interviews The Vatican ::  Agenda ::  About us ::  libri 04/20/2015  “Faith is not an instrument of power. Martyrs remind us of this” Tweet (©Ansa) (©Ansa) Pope Francis At this morning’s mass in St. Martha’s House, Pope Francis recalled that many people follow Jesus simply our of self-interest. This “spirit, which lies behind or beneath a varnish of Christianity leads people to live like pagans” Domenico Agasso jr Rome Too many people follow Jesus out of self-interest. But faith must not be turned into power. What is it that can help us not to succumb to this temptation? The testimony of martyrs. This was the crux of Francis’ message at this morning’s mass in St. Martha’s House.   Commenting on the Gospel passage which describes the day when the crowd seeks Jesus after the multiplication of the loaves and fish, the Pope underlined that these people do not seek Him out of “religious awe that leads to the adoration of God”, but “out of self-interest”: in the faith there is a risk of not understanding God’s true mission, the Pope pointed out: this happens when one uses Jesus in their attempts to obtain power.   “This attitude is seen throughout the Gospels,” he continued. “So many people follow Jesus out of self-interest. Even some of his apostles: the sons of Zebedee who wanted to become prime minister and minister of the economy respectively; they wanted power. When that unction of bringing the Good News to the poor, liberation to prisoners, sight to the blind, freedom to the oppressed and of announcing one year of grace, is obscured, it is lost and turns into a power thing.”   And the search for power quickly turns into hypocrisy, Francis underlined. “There has always been a temptation to go” from that sense of religious awe “that Jesus gives us in His encounter with us, to taking advantage of it: this was the proposition the devil made to Jesus through the various temptations. One was the bread itself. The other was the temptation of making a spectacle: “Let’s put on a big show so people will believe in you.” And the third, is apostasy, that is, worshiping idols. This is a temptation Christians, we, the whole Church face on a daily basis: not the temptation of power, of the power of the Holy Spirit, but the temptation of worldly power. This is how one falls into the religious lukewarmness that worldliness leads to and when it grows and grows, this lukewarmness leads to that attitude which J.......