“A heart occupied by the desire to posses is full of this desire to possess (things), but empty of God,” said the Pope on Sunday, March 2.
“In a heart possessed by riches, there is not much space for faith. Everything is occupied by riches: there is no place for faith. If instead one allows God his rightful place, that is, first, then his love also leads to sharing the wealth, putting riches at the service of charitable and development projects, as evidenced by many examples, even recent ones, in the history of the Church.”
The Pontiff explained that for a Christian, wealth can never become a goal in itself. “We cannot serve two masters: God and wealth.”
“This is why Jesus repeated warned the rich, because the risk of placing their security in the goods of this world is strong for them. And security – definitive security – is in God,” he stressed.
A follower of Christ is part of the wider community of the Church, and therefore called to serve others, including by the use of his material possessions, the Pope explained.
“As long as everyone tries to accumulate for themselves, there will never be justice. If, however, trusting in the providence of God, we seek his kingdom together, then no one will lack what is necessary to live with dignity.”
In fact, he continued, “the providence of God passes through our service to others.” When people share their goods, and put them in the service of others, “the providence of God becomes a gesture of solidarity.”
But when a person who “accumulates only for himself,” is “called by God, he will not be able to bring his riches, because, as you know, the burial shroud does not have pockets!”
“It is better to share, because we bring to Heaven only that which we have shared with others,” he stressed.