Want to get close to Jesus? Be meek, Pope Francis says

Pope Francis at the general audience in St Peters Square May 4 2016 Credit Daniel Ibanez CNA 5 4 16 Pope Francis at the general audience in St. Peter's Square, May 4, 2016. | Daniel Ibanez/CNA.

Meekness of heart is not foolishness, Pope Francis said Monday, but rather "the capacity to be deep and to understand the greatness of God, and worship Him."

The Pope reflected during his homily Monday on the Beatitudes as steps that take us towards God.

The Pope's homily came during the June 6 Mass at the Casa Santa Martha residence, Vatican Radio reports. He reflected on the Sermon on the Mount and the Beatitudes as recorded in the Gospel of Matthew.

Pope Francis encouraged reflection on the beatitude, "Blessed are the Meek," saying that the opposite of meekness "always causes enmities and wars."

"Jesus says of himself: 'learn from me for I am meek of heart', I am humble and gentle at heart. To be meek is a way of being that brings us close to Jesus."

The beatitudes are "the Lord's new law for us." They are "the steps that take us forward in life," the pontiff said.

The Pope also drew on the Gospel of Luke, which accompanies the Beatitudes with a list of warnings: "Woe to the rich, to the satiated, to those who laugh now, to you when all speak well of you."

Just as the Beatitudes lead us to heaven, he said, there are three steps that carry us to ruin.

There is attachment to riches, a sin which becomes idolatry. Attachment to riches is "the anti-law" and "the wrong navigator," though riches are not evil in themselves, he said.

Next, there is vanity, which Pope Francis described as the view that "all must speak well of me, making me feel important, making too much of a fuss… and I am convinced to be in the right."

The Pope noted the parable of the tax collector and the Pharisee and warned against having an attitude that says, "O God I thank you that I am such a good Catholic, not like my neighbor…"

Finally, he denounced pride, rejecting it as "satiation and the laughter that closes one's heart."

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