VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Good works “do not keep well in the fridge,” Pope Francis said; they need to be shared the minute there is a need.

Reacting to someone in need by thinking, “I’ll take care of it tomorrow” is a classic, recurring form of hiding the light of faith given to each Christian at baptism, Pope Francis said Sept. 19 during an early morning Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.


Reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading in which Jesus says no one lights a lamp and then covers it, the pope said that just as there are simple ways of sharing the light of faith with others, there are simple ways of hiding it, which make one a “lukewarm” Christian or a Christian “in name only.”

One way is to delay helping those in need, he said; others including gossiping about someone who trusts you or always picking fights.

Using someone’s trust to trick them or to fool them into doing something they shouldn’t is the “little piece of mafia that we all have in reach,” the pope said. “Profiting from another’s trust in order to do evil is mafioso!”

Being jealous of the rich and powerful also hides the light of faith and runs counter to the Gospel message of God’s special love for the meek and the poor.

Besides, the pope said, “the same worms that will eat us will eat them. The very same! In the end, we will all be the same.”