Pope Francis also had hard words for the idolatry of money.
"The 'goddess of fortune' is increasingly the new divinity of a certain finance and of the whole system of gambling which is destroying millions of the world's families, and which you rightly oppose," he said. "This idolatrous worship is a surrogate for eternal life. Individual products get old and wear out, but if I have money or credit I can immediately buy others, deluding myself of conquering death."
"We cannot understand the new Kingdom offered by Jesus if we do not free ourselves of idols, of which money is one of the most powerful," the Pope continued.
He praised the Economy and Communion project for its decision to pool profits.
"The best and most practical way to avoid making an idol of money is to share it with others, above all with the poor, or to enable young people to study and work, overcoming the idolatrous temptation with communion," Pope Francis said.
This is a way to tell money "you are not God."
While there are new efforts to combat poverty and aid the poor, the Pope warned that it can never be said enough that capitalism "continues to produce discarded people whom it would then like to care for."
The pontiff cited the parable of the Prodigal Son. One must imitate the father of the parable and wait for those who have done wrong to return to show them mercy. One must not be impeded by the "meritocracy" Pope Francis said is invoked by the parable's older son and by "many who deny mercy in the name of merit."
"An entrepreneur of communion is called to do everything possible so that even those who do wrong and leave home can hope for work and for dignified earnings, and not wind up eating with the swine," he said. "No son, no man, not even the most rebellious, deserves acorns."
He said the 25 years of the Focolare project's existence show that a spirit of communion and business can grow together. Though the project is relatively small on a global scale, it is the quality of the salt not its quantity, that matters for taste.
"Every time people, peoples and even the Church have thought of saving the world in numbers, they have produced power structures, forgetting the poor," the Pope said. "We save our economy by being simply salt and leaven: a difficult job, because everything deteriorates with the passing of time."
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He stressed the role of reciprocity in life. Communion is both the sharing and the multiplying of goods.
"By introducing into the economy the good seed of communion, you have begun a profound change in the way of seeing and living business," Pope Francis told the gathering.