“Idolatry is subtle, we all have our hidden idols, and the path of life to follow to not be far from the kingdom of God involves discovering our hidden idols,” said Pope Francis.
“The idols, hidden in the many saddles, which we have in our personalities, in the way we live. Drive out the idol of worldliness, which leads us to become enemies of God,” he prayed June 6 during morning Mass.
The Pope made his comments in a homily on Mark 12 at the chapel of the Saint Martha’s House.
“There is a danger of idolatry, which is brought to us through the spirit of the world. And in this Jesus was clear, the spirit of the world? ‘No.’” said Pope Francis.
“At the Last Supper he asks the Father to defend us from the spirit of the world, because the spirit of the world leads us to idolatry,” he pointed out.
He said people “hide their idols in a saddle” like the Bible passage that tells how Rachel, Jacob's wife, pretends she is not carrying idols, which she took from her father's house and hides in her saddle.
“But we have to look for them and we have to destroy them because, to follow God, the only path is that of a love based on loyalty,” Pope Francis said.
“Loyalty demands we drive out our idols, that we uncover them,” he remarked. “They are hidden in our personality, in our way of life.”
According to the pontiff, “these hidden idols mean that we are not faithful in love.”
“Whoever is a friend of the world is an idolater, is not faithful to the love of God!” he taught.
“The path that is not distant, that advances, moves forward in the Kingdom of God, is a path of loyalty which resembles that of married love,” he added.
The Pope asked “even with our small or not so small idolatries, how is it possible not to be faithful to a love so great?”
“To do this, you need to trust in Christ, who is total loyalty and who loves us so much,” he affirmed.
The pontiff focused his homily on the Bible passage in which a scribe asked Jesus what the first commandment was and after Jesus responded and the scribe approved of his reply, Jesus said, “you are not far from the Kingdom of God.”
“With that ‘you are not far,’ Jesus wanted to say to the scribe, “you know the theory very well, but you are still some distance from the Kingdom of God,” said the Pope.
“That is, you have to walk to transform this commandment into reality because we profess God through our way of life,” he stated.
Archbishop José Vitti of Curitiba, Brazil, Archbishop Juan Segura of Ibiza, Spain and Archbishop Chirayath Anthony of Sagar, India concelebrated the Mass with him.
Lateran University employees, its vice rector, Monsignor Patrick Valdrini, staff from the Vatican Library and its vice-prefect Ambrose Piazzoni also attended the Eucharistic celebration.
Pope Francis said everyone has “hidden idols” buried in their personalities and recommended discovering and discarding them in order to better follow God.
Pope Francis, St. Martha Mass