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Seeking worldly treasures leads to a tired, loveless heart, says Francis

By on Friday, 21 June 2013

Pope Francis at a Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae (CNS)

Pope Francis at a Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae (CNS)

Don’t be fooled by worldly treasures that seduce people but leave them tired, loveless and empty, Pope Francis said in a homily at Mass this morning.

Seek out and gather divine treasures like “love, charity, service, patience, goodness and tenderness”, he said during Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where he lives.

In his own version of the common saying, “You can’t take it with you” when you die, the Pope said: “I’ve never seen a moving truck following behind a funeral procession. Never.”

While material possessions will remain here on earth, there are treasures that “we can bring with us” to heaven, he said.

However, they are not the things “that you have saved up for yourself, but rather those you have given to others,” which is the gift and presence of “Jesus Christ in us”, the Pope said.

In his homily, the Pope commented on the day’s reading from the Gospel of Matthew, which says not to store up treasures on earth, “but store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart also be.”

The Pope said that in this passage, Jesus connects the kind of treasure that has real value in life and in heaven with the human heart.

God made humanity with a restless heart so people would “look for him, find him and grow”, the Pope said.

Problems occur when people get confused about the kind of treasure they should be seeking and are steered toward the things that don’t come from God, he said.

A restless heart seeking material riches “gets tired, becomes lazy, becomes a loveless heart” that is never satisfied, he said.

People must ask themselves: “What do I have? A tired heart that only wants to settle down,” acquire things and accumulate some “fine savings in the bank?” he said.

When later in the passage Jesus talks about “the lamp of the body is the eye” and says if the eye is sound then the “whole body will be filled with light”, the Pope said the eye represents the heart’s intention.

“A heart that loves” knows how to judge what is good and bad, knows the truth and makes one a person of light, not of darkness, he said.

“A heart of stone” is “attached to earthly treasure”, a “selfish treasure” that can turn into hatred and trigger wars, he said.

Pope Francis asked people to pray that those with hearts of stone would be given hearts of flesh and that their restlessness be marked by “that good apprehension of pressing onward, looking for [God] and letting themselves be sought after by him.”

  • paulpriest

    …worldly ‘things’ aren’t necessarily ‘material…
    ..honour, recognition, respect & renown, power, influence, security, peace of mind, an ‘easy life’, a conflict free life, a sexually satisfying lifestyle, a cosy family lifestyle, interesting but undemanding friends or family…
    We are mad!!!

    Worldly wants for wordly goods:

    Thank God He loves us enough to grace us with our daily heavenly ‘bread’ fulfilling our needs…and pays no attention whatsoever to our wants.

  • Julian Lord
  • Neocat

    Wasn’t he the guy who was banned from the last World Youth day ?

  • Julian Lord

    No not banned, he was simply forbidden from providing catechesis there — though he has since that time earned his degree in Theology.

  • Peter

    At the risk of being moderated, there are some – by no means all of course – but some clergy in rich parishes who exhort their parishioners to give alms not to the poor and afflicted of the world, but for the enrichment and advancement of their own parishes, including the adornment of the church and buildings.

    This is all well and good if a sizeable proportion is also earmarked for the poor, but in some cases nothing or very little is voluntarily offered, with donations limited to the three or four compulsory annual appeals.

    This is happening now in the UK, which is not only morally reprehensible, but more worryingly, is dangerous for the souls of the faithful who are led to believe that swelling parish coffers is giving to charity. When they meet Our Lord on the day of Judgement expecting to be saved, he will say he does not know them because they have placed nothing in the hands of his poor little ones.

    Bishops in their diocese should take note of who these clergy are.

  • Laurence

    This is brilliant: “People must ask themselves: “What do I have? A tired heart that only wants to settle down.”

  • Benedict Carter

    God comes first. Always. That may include adornments for His glory and for our spiritual uplift. The poor understand and need spiritual uplift and transcendence too. “Man does not live by bread alone”.

    Men understood this very well once upon a time, just like the widow who added her mite to the collection box in the Temple.

    As to the large number of priests/parishes in England suffering from an addiction to money, name names.

  • John Fisher

    Well the pope has never had a mortgage. It is one thing to feign poverty but another to worry about whether one will have to eat dog food when retired!

  • Isabel

    And a world stripped of beauty – truly beautiful music and art- is a poor world, both for the poor and the wealthier.
    People who dismiss and play down beauty are dangerous.
    Many people look tired and lifeless because they have too Little beauty around them.