Service is antidote to glory-seeking: Pope Francis at Angelus

Pope Francis spoke about how Jesus tries to correct his disciples by “converting them from the mentality of the world to that of God.”

The Pope Francis spoke about the brothers James and John, who had asked Jesus to sit at his right and left at the coming of the Kingdom of God.“Jesus knows that James and John are animated by great enthusiasm for him and for the cause of the Kingdom, but he also knows that their expectations and their zeal are polluted by the spirit of the world,” the Pope said.So, he continued, Jesus tells them: “You do not know what you are asking.”

Service vs. glory-seeking
Pope Francis said Jesus turns their request for glory into a “cup” to drink and of a “baptism” to receive. “They too, like the other Apostles, will participate in his cross when their time comes.”The Holy Father said Jesus is inviting the disciples to follow him and learn the way of love “at a loss”, that is, not for profit or earthly gain. “Our heavenly Father will take care of the reward,” he said.

Jesus, Pope Francis said, uses the episode to point out that service is the path to greatness in the Kingdom of God. “While the great of the Earth are building ‘thrones’ for their own power, God chooses an uncomfortable throne, the Cross, from which to reign, by giving his life.”The Pope said all Christians are called to conversion away from self-seeking and honors.“The way of service is the most effective antidote against the disease that comes from searching for the first place, which infects many people and does not even spare the Church.”

Finally, Pope Francis said the Gospel calls us to “bear witness with courage and generosity to a Church that kneels at the feet of the least, and to serve them with love and simplicity.”

Pope Francis prays at St. John Paul II’s tomb on feast day

Pope Francis on Monday stopped by briefly to pray at the tomb of St. John Paul II in Rome’s St. Peter’s Basilica on the day the Catholic Church marks the feast day of his predecessor.Traditionally, the feast of a saint is celebrated on the anniversary of his/her death, the day the person left for his/her eternal abode.  However, in the case of Pope John Paul II, his feast was fixed for October 22,  when his pontificate was officially inaugurated.

John Paul II of Poland was elected on October 16, 1978, becoming the first Slav pope and the first non-Italian pope in 455 years since Dutch Pope Adrian VI, who served from 1522 to 1523.Pope Francis officially declared him a saint on April 27, 2014, along with Pope John XXIII.

Pope Francis recalls World Mission Sunday

On the annual occurrence of World Mission Sunday, Pope Francis invites all people, both young and old, to participate in the mission of the Church to bring the Gospel to everyone.

Message for World Mission Sunday
In his message for World Mission Sunday, released in May, Pope Francis reminds all that “we are not in this world by our own choice,” and hence there is “an initiative that precedes us and makes us exist.” Each one of us, he says, is called to reflect on the fact that ‘ I am a mission on this Earth,” which is why we are here in this world.In fact, the Pope says, “every man and woman is a mission.” He says that “to be attracted and to be sent are two movements” of the heart that “hold out promise for our future and give direction to our lives.”

Gift of self
In his message, the Pope urges young people not to be afraid of Christ and his Church, because, he says, “it is where “we find the treasure that fills life with joy.”Speaking from his own experience, he says that through faith he found the sure foundation of his dreams and the strength to realize them. 

“For those who stand by Jesus,” the Pope continues, “evil is an incentive to ever greater love,” because “from the cross of Jesus we learn the divine logic of self-sacrifice as a proclamation of the Gospel for the life of the world.The Pope thus invites young people to ask themselves, “What would Christ do if he were in my place?”

Transmitting the faith
All Christians by Baptism, the Pope recalls, have received the mission to bring the Gospel to everyone.Young people too are part of that great stream of witnesses, in which elder persons with their wisdom and experience become a witness and encouragement to the young.  This way, he says, the mission of the Church bridges the generations bringing about unity.

Infectious love
The heart of the Church’s mission, the Pope continues, is the infectiousness of love, where joy and enthusiasm become the expression of a newfound meaning and fulfillment in life. The spread of the faith “by attraction”, he says, calls for hearts that are open and expanded by love. This generates encounter, witness and proclamation even in “extreme peripheries” which are indifferent and hostile and to the ends of the earth in ‘missio ad gentes’.“No one is so poor as to be unable to give what they have, but first and foremost what they are,” says Pope Francis.