VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Christian freedom is being free from worldly ambition, fashion and passion and being open to God’s will, Pope Francis said.
The world today “is a bit schizoid, schizophrenic, right? It shouts, ‘Freedom, freedom, freedom!’ but it is more slave, slave, slave,” he said in his homily April 13 at morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
People need to think about what kind of freedom they seek in the world, he said.
Is it Christian, he asked, or “am I slave to my passions, my ambitions, to many things, to wealth, to fashion. It seems like a joke, but so many people are slaves to fashion!”
Pope Francis’ homily looked at three examples of Christian freedom that were depicted in the day’s first reading from the Acts of the Apostles (5:34-42) and the Gospel reading (Jn 6:1-15).
The first reading told how the Pharisee, Gamaliel, convinces the Sanhedrin to free Peter and John from prison. He made the decision, the pope said, based on a trust that God would eventually let the truth be known about the apostles and by using his power of reason without letting it be warped by quick ambition.
“A free man is not afraid of time — he leaves it to God. He leaves room for God to act in time. The free man is patient,” the pope said.
Pontius Pilate, for example, was a man who was intelligent and could think reasonably, however, he wasn’t free, the pope said. “He lacked the courage of freedom because he was a slave to careerism, ambition and success.”
Even though Peter and John were innocent and were punished unjustly after they were freed from prison, they did not go to a judge to complain or demand reparation, the pope said.
They freely chose to rejoice and suffer in Christ’s name just as Christ suffered for them, he said.
“Even today there are so many Christians, in prison, tortured who carry forward this freedom to proclaim Jesus Christ,” he said.
Finally, Jesus himself gives an example of freedom when he escapes to the mountain alone after he realizes the people were going to carry him off to make him king after the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves.
“He detached himself from triumphalism. He does not let himself be deceived” by this attitude of superiority, and makes sure he remains free, the pope said.
True freedom, he said, is making room for God in one’s life and following him with joy, even if it brings hardship and suffering.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
PREVIOUS: If death is imminent, is a feeding tube required?
NEXT: Examples of friendship in Scripture
Share this story