Mass Casa Santa Marta‎ > ‎03 2020‎ > ‎

Pope Francis talks about Idolatry 26.03.20



Pope Francis talks about Idolatry 26.03.20


Pope Francis   26.03.20  Holy Mass Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae)        Exodus 32: 7-14,     Psalm 106: 19-20,21-22,23

Pope Francis talks about Idolatry 26.03.20

In the first Reading there is the scene of the mutiny of the people. Moses went to the Mountain to receive the Law: God gave it to him, in stone, written by his hand. But the people got bored and stood around Aaron and said, "But, this Moses, it's been a little while and we don't where he is, where he went, and we are without a leader. Make us a god to help us move forward." And Aaron, who later will be a priest of God but there he was a priest of stupidity, of idols, said: "But yes, give me all the gold and silver that you have", and they give everything and they made that golden calf.

In the Psalm we heard the lament of God: "They made a calf at Horeb, and worshiped an image of metal, exchanging the God who was their glory for the image of a bull that eats grass." And here, in this moment, when the Reading begins: "The Lord said to Moses: "Go down, come down, because your people who you have brought out the land of Egypt have apostatised. They have been quick to move away from the path that I had marked out for them. They have made themselves a calf of molten metal and have worshiped it, offered it sacrifices and cried out, 'Here is your god, Israel, the one who brought you out of the land of Egypt.'" A true apostasy! From the living God to idolatry. They didn't have patience to wait for Moses to come back: they wanted something, they wanted something, liturgical spectacle, something ...

I would like to add a few things on this. First of all, that idolatrous nostalgia in the people: in this case, they thought of the idols of Egypt, but had the longing to return to idols, to return to the worst, they didn't know how to wait for the living God. This nostalgia is an illness which is even ours. We begin on the path of liberation with the enthusiasm, but then the complaints begin: "But yes, this is a hard time, the desert, I'm thirsty, I want water, I want meat ... but in Egypt we ate onions, good things and here there is nothing ...". Idolatry is always selective: it makes you think about the good things it gives you but doesn't allow you to see the bad things. In this case, they remembered their meals at the table and how good they were and how much they liked them, but they forgot that this was the table of slavery. Idolatry is selective.

Then, another thing: idolatry makes you lose everything. Aaron, to make the calf, asks them: "Give me gold and silver": but it was the gold and silver that the Lord had given them, when he said to them, "Ask the Egyptians for gold on loan", and then it went with them. It was a gift from God and with the gift from God they make the idol. And this is very bad. But this mechanism also happens to us: when we have attitudes that lead us to idolatry, we are attached to things that distance us from God, because we make another god and we do so with the gifts that the Lord has given us. With our intelligence, with our will, with our love, with our heart ... it is the very gifts of God that we use to make idolatry.

Yes, some of you may say to me, "But I have no idols at home. I have the Crucifix, the image of Our Lady, these are not idols ..." – No, no: they are in your heart. And the question we should ask today is: what is the idol that you have in your heart, in my heart. That hidden place where I feel good, that distances me from the living God. And we also have a very clever behaviour with idolatry: we know how to hide idols, as Rachel did when she ran away from her father and hid them in the camel's saddle and among the clothes. We too, among our clothes of the heart, have hidden so many idols.

The question I would like to ask today is: what is my idol? That idol of my worldliness ... and idolatry also comes to piety, because they wanted the golden calf not to make a circus: no. To worship: "They bowed before it." Idolatry leads you to a wrong religiosity, indeed: so often worldliness, which is an idolatry, makes you change the celebration of a sacrament into a worldly celebration. An example: I don't know, I think, let's think, I don't know, let alone a wedding celebration. You do not know if it is really a sacrament where the newlyweds give everything and love each other before God and promise to be faithful before God and receive the grace of God, or it is a fashion show... worldliness. It's idolatry. This is an example. Because idolatry does not stop: it always goes on.

Today the question I would like to ask all of us, to everyone: what are my idols? Everyone has their own. What are my idols. Where do I hide them. May the Lord not find us at the end of life, and say to us: "You have apostatised. You strayed from the path I had indicated. You prostrated yourself before an idol."
Let us ask the Lord for the grace to know our idols. And if we can't cast them out, at least keep them on the side...

Finally, the Pope ended the celebration with Eucharistic worship and blessing, inviting Spiritual Communion. Below is the prayer recited by the Pope:
My Jesus, I believe that you are truly present in the Blessed Sacrament. I love you above all things and I desire you in my soul. Because I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. As though you were already there, I embrace you and unite myself wholly to you. Don't let me ever separate from You. Amen