FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON POPE FRANCIS
NO RIVALRY OR VAINGLORY
November 4, 2014
Most if not all Christian groups and movements are self-referential, that is, while they profess to serve the Church (and indeed they do), they are also concerned about their own group’s well-being and advancement. And whether they admit it or not, they seek to be the best, the largest, the most influential, the most important. Oftentimes, they would even do sinful things, such as putting down other groups or blocking their work (even filing scandalous court cases).
Our work for the Church has gone on self-giving rather than self-referential mode in LCSC. Here we do not promote ourselves, we do not recruit everyone we evangelize, we do not trumpet the wide work that we as a community do. We do not seek our own interests, but only the interests of God and His Church.
Further, since LCSC is parish work, it can be participated in by all parish organizations. Since it focuses on the basic proclamation of the gospel, which is the missing first step in the work of parishes, all organizations can share in this all-important work. As such, it removes rivalry and promotes harmonious cooperation and unity. LCSC can be the thread that binds all parish ministries and groups as one.
Pope’s Morning Homily: Rivalry and Vainglory Weaken the Church
Invites Faithful to Place the Needs of Others Before Their Own
By Junno Arocho Esteves
VATICAN CITY, November 03, 2014 (Zenit.org) – When no one seeks his own interests and is genuinely grateful, then there is harmony in the Church. This was the main theme of Pope Francis’ homily during his morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta today.
He reflected on the First reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians, in which the Apostle says to “do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves.”
According to Vatican Radio, the Pope noted that often in churches, parishes and schools, we can find rivalry and vainglory, referring to them as “two worms that eat the fabric of the Church, weakening Her.”
“Rivalry and vainglory go against this harmony, this agreement. Instead of rivalry and vainglory, what does Paul recommend? ‘Rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves,’” the Pope said.
“[St. Paul] felt this himself. He qualifies himself as ‘not worthy to be called an apostle,’ the least one. He even strongly humbles himself there.”
Noting that the Church celebrates today the memorial of St. Martin de Porres, the Pope said that the example set by the “humble Dominican friar” is something that Christians should aspire to. St. Martin’s spirituality, he said, was in service; a spirituality that the first reading calls all to follow.
The Holy Father also spoke on today’s Gospel, in which Jesus invites one of the Pharisees to invite to a banquet those who “have no ability to repay you.” Jesus, the Pope said, urges to “not take the road of seeking repayment.”
“This is gratuity!” the Pope exclaimed. “When there is harmony in a Church, there is unity, no one seeks his or her own interests, and there is an attitude of gratefulness. I do good; I don’t strike a deal with good.”
Concluding his homily, the Pope invited the faithful to ask themselves if they have a spirit of gratitude or of seeking vainglory.
“Is this spirit, this sentiment of love, unanimity, concord, without selfishness or vainglory, of humility, is this vision that others are superior to us, in our parish, in our community … and perhaps we will find that there is something to improve. Now, how can I help to improve this?” he asked.
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