VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Money by itself isn’t a problem, but greed and an attachment to money cause evil and destroy families and relationships, Pope Francis said.
“Money is needed to bring about many good things,” he said in his morning Mass homily Oct. 21, “but when your heart is attached (to money), it destroys you.”
“How many destroyed families have we seen because of money problems, sibling against sibling, father against child,” he said during the Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, according to Vatican Radio.
“When a person is attached to money, he destroys himself, destroys the family” and destroys relationships, he said.
The pope focused on the day’s Gospel reading (Luke 12:13-21) and Jesus’ parable of the rich man. God admonished the rich man and said a person who stores up treasures for himself will not be rich “in what matters to God.”
In the Gospel reading, Jesus warns people to “guard against all greed, for though one may be rich, one’s life does not consist of possessions.”
Pope Francis said what is destructive is “not money, but the attitude called greed.”
“Greed makes you ill because it makes you think about everything only in relation to money. Greed is an instrument of idolatry” because “you play god out of vanity” and because “it leads to the path that is opposed to what God did for us,” the pope said.
Jesus made himself poor to enrich humanity, and the path to God is through Christ’s same humility and “lowering oneself in order to serve,” he said.
When Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters,” one can either serve God or money, Jesus was asking people to trust in God to provide, Pope Francis said.
However, he said, walking the path of poverty isn’t for poverty’s sake; poverty is an instrument to help people remain focused on God, who is the only master, “not the idol of gold.”
“All the goods we have, the Lord gives us” in order to help the world and humanity progress, and to help others, the pope said.