Vatican City, Sep 22, 2019 / 04:13 am
People and relationships are more valuable than things and the truly wealthy are those who are rich in friends, Pope Francis said during the Angelus Sunday.
“Wealth can encourage the erection of walls, create divisions and discrimination,” the pope said Sept. 22, adding that “Jesus, by contrast, invites his disciples to change course: ‘Make friends with riches.’”
“It is an invitation to know how to transform goods and riches into relationships, because people are worth more than things and count more than the wealth they possess,” he explained.
“In life, in fact,” he continued, “it is not those who have so many riches who bear fruit, but those who create and keep so many bonds, so many relationships, so many friendships through the different ‘riches,’ that is, the different gifts with which God has endowed them.”
In his message before the Angelus, Pope Francis reflected on the day’s Gospel passage from St. Luke, in which Jesus tells his disciples a parable about a rich man and his dishonest, but clever, steward.
The steward had been accused of squandering the assets of his master and was about to be fired. “In this difficult situation, he does not blame someone else, he does not seek justification or let himself be discouraged, but he devises a way out to ensure a peaceful future,” the pope said.
First, he has clarity in his own limits, recognizing that he cannot earn a living by being a manual laborer or begging, the pope said. “Then he acts with cunning, robbing his master for the last time” by calling the debtors and reducing their debts, which makes them want to, in turn, return the favor.
Pope Francis said this is friendship gained through corruption and an attitude sometimes seen today.