Pope Francis: Money, power, pleasure can enslave us

Pope Francis: Money, power, pleasure can enslave us

Pope Francis waves to the crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square to hear his Angelus address n Sunday, June 9, 2024. VATICAN MEDIA

By Courtney Mares

Catholic News Agency

June 10, 2024

VATICAN— Pope Francis urged people to reflect on Sunday on whether they are sacrificing their serenity and freedom to be enslaved by money, power, and pleasure.

Speaking in his Angelus address on June 9, the pope asked people to contemplate the temptations that can imprison us and the freedom found in Christ

“If we let ourselves be conditioned by the quest for pleasure, power, money, or consensus, we become slaves to these things,” he said.

“If instead we allow God’s freely-given love to fill us and expand our heart, and if we let it overflow spontaneously by giving it back to others with our whole selves without fear, calculation, or conditioning, then we grow in freedom and spread its good fragrance around us in our homes, in our families, and in our communities.”

In his speech from the window of the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace, the pope highlighted the many ways in which “Jesus was a free man.”

Jesus was not enslaved by wealth, but embraced “a poor life full of uncertainties, freely taking care of the sick and whoever came to ask him for help, without ever asking for anything in return.”

“He was free with regard to power,” Francis added. “Indeed, despite calling many to follow him, He never obliged anyone to do so, nor did he ever seek out the support of the powerful, but always took the side of the least, teaching his disciples to do likewise.”

The Lord was also free from the need “for fame and approval, and for this reason, he never gave up speaking the truth,” he said.

Pope Francis underlined that Jesus never gave up speaking the truth “even at the cost of not being understood or becoming unpopular — even to the point of dying on the cross.” The pope added that Jesus did not allow himself “to be intimidated, bought, or corrupted by anything or anyone.”

Pope Francis asked people to spend some time reflecting on “this freedom of Jesus,” and then to examine their consciences as to whether there are any areas in life where they are “imprisoned by the myths of money, power, and success.”

After leading the crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square in the Angelus prayer in Latin, the pope made a passionate appeal for peace in the Holy Land, asking people to pray for the ceasefire negotiations and urging the international community to ensure that humanitarian aid arrives for those who are most in need.

Pope Francis also asked people to pray for the people who are suffering in Myanmar and Ukraine, giving a special shoutout to some Ukrainians who were in the crowd waving flags.

“May the Virgin Mary help us live and love like Jesus taught us, in the freedom of the children of God,” Pope Francis said.

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