"How many Christians, by their example, with their inconsistency, drive people away from the Faith: the incoherence of Christians is one of the readiest weapons the devil has to weaken the People of God." "Every shepherd must ask: How is my friendship with money? Or the shepherd who seeks to rise: vanity leads him to climb, instead of being gentle, humble, because meekness and humility favor closeness to the people."
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Woe to those who cause scandal, like the Christian who is not "coherent" with the Gospel or the shepherd attached to money or who "tries to climb the ladder" because scandals kill hopes, illusions, families and distances God's people from the Lord said Pope Francis at Mass this morning at Casa Santa Marta. He was commenting on the passage of the Gospel (Luke 17,1-6) in which Jesus says, "it is inevitable that they are scandals," “but woe to the one through whom they occur.”
Jesus then warns the disciples: "Be on your guard!” “Be careful not to scandalize. Scandal is evil, because scandal wounds – it wounds God’s People where they are most vulnerable, and strikes the People of God where they are weakest – and many times, the wounds inflicted by scandal are borne by the faithful throughout their lives. Not only does it do harm: scandal is capable of murder – of killing hopes, killing dreams, killing families, killing so many hearts.”
“Be on your guard!” is a warning for everyone, and especially to people who call themselves Christian, but live as Pagans. This is “the scandal of the People of God.” “How many Christians, by their example, with their inconsistency, drive people away from the Faith: the incoherence of Christians is one of the readiest weapons the devil has to weaken the People of God and to divert the People of God from the Lord – to say one thing and do another.” This is the “incoherence” which gives scandal, which today gives us to ask ourselves, “How coherent is my life? How coherent is it with the Gospel, How coherent is it with the Lord?” The Pope then offered the example of Christian entrepreneurs who do not pay just wages and who exploit people for their own gain, or even the scandal given by pastors in the Church, who, careless of their sheep, see them wander off and go astray.
"Jesus tells us that we cannot serve two masters: both God and money – and when the pastor is one who is attached to money, he gives scandalize. People are scandalized: the shepherd, attached to money. Every shepherd must ask: How is my friendship with money? Or the shepherd who seeks to rise: vanity leads him to climb, instead of being gentle, humble, because meekness and humility favor closeness to the people – or the shepherd who feels himself a lord, and lords it over everyone, proud, and not the servant-pastor of God’s People. " Pope Francis concluded saying, “Let today be the propitious day, on which to make this examination of conscience: Do I give scandal? If so, how? Thus, shall we be able to answer the Lord and approach Him a little more closely.”
Receiving the bishops attending the refresher seminar sponsored by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Francis recommended they ensure that everything is put in place for evangelization and the various pastoral activities "are not damaged or nullified by existing divisions or those that can be created. " "The devil enters through our pockets and destroys with tongues, with gossip that divides and the habit of gossip is a habit of terrorism."
"A Church without martyrs breeds distrust; A Church that does not risk breeds distrust; A Church that is afraid of proclaiming Jesus Christ and chasing out demons, idols, the other lord, which is money, is not the Church of Jesus. "
"Sewing jealousies, ambitions, ideas, but to divide! Or sow greed. " And as happens after a war "everything is destroyed. And the devil goes away happy. And we - naive, we are to his game. " "The divisions in the Church do not let the Kingdom of God grow; do not let the Lord show how good He is. "
In Argentina, "these people are called 'zizzaniere' [sowers of weeds]: they cause trouble, they divide. And divisions begin with the tongue. Envy, jealousy and even closure. " "Let us pray to the Lord that He might give us the grace, because the strength of the devil, of sin, that pushes us to disunity is so great, so great. Always! That He might give us the grace, that He might give us the gift. And what is the gift that creates unity? The Holy Spirit!! ".
"A country with strong Christian roots, but where" it is evident that the evil one wanted to divide the people to destroy the work of God. " "Peace is also founded, and perhaps above all, on the blood of many witnesses of love, truth, justice, and even true martyrs, killed for faith," such as Bishop Jesús Emilio Jaramillo Monsalve, and Pedro María Ramírez Ramos, a priest, beatified in Villavicencio ".