What is a leader, really? A servant, Pope Francis says

Pope Francis greets pilgrims in St Peters Square at the general audience on Oct 19 2016 Credit Lucia Ballester 11 CNA Pope Francis greets pilgrims in St. Peter's Square at the general audience on Oct. 19, 2016. | Lucia Ballester/CNA.

During Mass at the Vatican Tuesday, Pope Francis warned that the desire for power and money is an obstacle which keeps us from God, and that true freedom can only be found when we serve others.

"Jesus taught us that he who commands must become like one who serves. Or, if one wants to be first he must be the servant of all," he said at Mass Nov. 8 at Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican.

"And this desire for power is not the way to becoming a servant of the Lord, in fact: it is an obstacle, one of these obstacles we prayed to the Lord to remove from us."

The presence of Jesus changes the world's values, he noted: "The Lord has told us that no servant can have two masters. One either serves God or serves money."

Another obstacle to a true relationship with Christ that often happens in the life of the Church is treachery, or disloyalty, Francis explained. This disloyalty occurs when someone wants to serve the Lord, but also serves things of the world.

The Pope clarified that this unfaithfulness is not the same as being a sinner, because we are all sinners, and must repent, but it is like playing a "double game."

"Play right and left, play God and even play in the world, no? And this is an obstacle," he said.

Not serving God first, the thirst for power and money, are all obstacles to true peace, Francis said, causing us to live in that "tension of worldly vanities."

In order to have peace and serenity, he said that we must ask God to make us into his free servants. Because as God's children, once the obstacles have been removed, that is when we can serve him freely, and not as slaves.

"And when we serve the Lord in freedom, we feel that deeper peace yet, right?" he said. "The voice of the Lord: 'Oh, come, come, come, good and faithful servant.'"

This is not something we can do alone, however, Pope Francis explained, saying that we must repeat the words Jesus told his Apostles in the day's Gospel, that we are only "useless servants."

"And so," the Pope concluded, "give us this serenity, this peace to be able to serve as a free child in the end, with so much love."

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