Pope Francis: To love like Christ means saying ‘no’ to love of money, vanity, power

Pope Francis at Regina Coeli address on May 2, 2021 Pope Francis waves during Regina Coeli address on May 2, 2021./ Vatican Media/CNA.

Pope Francis said Sunday that loving like Christ requires a rejection of the worldly loves of money, success, vanity, and power.

“To love like Christ means saying 'no' to other ‘loves’ that the world offers us: love of money – those who love money do not love as Jesus loves -- love of success, vanity, of power,” the pope said from the window of the Apostolic Palace on May 9.

“These deceptive paths of ‘love’ distance us from the Lord’s love and lead us to become more and more selfish, narcissistic, overbearing. And being overbearing leads to a degeneration of love, to the abuse of others, to making our loved ones suffer.”

In his Regina Coeli address, the pope told pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square that “Jesus asks us to abide in his love,” not in “our own self-worship.”

“Those who dwell in self-worship, live in the mirror, always looking at themselves,” he said.

The pope said that Jesus desires “us to overcome the pretense of controlling and managing others,” and wants to open hearts to self-giving love for others.

“To love as Jesus means to offer yourself in service, at the service of your brothers and sisters, as he did in washing the feet of the disciples,” he said.

“It also means going outside of ourselves, detaching ourselves from our own human certainties, from earthly comforts, in order to open ourselves up to others, especially those in greater need. It means making ourselves available, as we are and with what we have.”

After reciting the Regina caeli, a Marian prayer said during the Easter season, the pope asked people to pray for the victims of a terrorist attack in Afghanistan.

At least 50 people were killed and more than 100 injured in a bombing on May 8 outside of a school in Kabul, according to the BBC. Many of the victims were young girls who attended the school.

Pope Francis called the attack “an inhumane act” and asked people to pray for each of the victims and their families. “And may God give peace to Afghanistan,” he added.

The pope also expressed concern about “violent clashes” in Colombia and in Jerusalem. He prayed for peace in both places, urging that the Holy Land should be “a place of prayer and peace.”

Pope Francis commended the May 9 beatification of Blessed Rosario Livatino, a Catholic judge brutally killed by the mafia in Sicily in 1990, calling him a “martyr of justice and faith.”

“And we cannot forget mothers!” the pope added, acknowledging Mother’s Day and extending a greeting to “all mothers around the world.”

“The Lord wants the joy he possesses … to be in us insofar as we are united to Him,” Pope Francis said.

“The joy of knowing we are loved by God despite our infidelities enables us to face the trials of life confidently, makes us live through crises so as to emerge from them better.”

“Our being true witnesses consists in living this joy, because joy is the distinctive sign of a true Christian. True Christians are not sad; they always have that joy inside, even in difficult moments.”

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