Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Pope Francis "Man's freedom arises from letting the true God be the only Lord." FULL TEXT at Audience + Video


Paul VI Hall
Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Catechesis on the Commandments: 5. Idolatry

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

We continue today to meditate on the Decalogue, deepening the theme of idolatry, we talked about it last week. Now let's get back to the topic because it's very important to know it. And we take a cue from the idol par excellence, the golden calf, mentioned in the Book of Exodus (32.1-8) - we have just listened to a passage. This episode has a precise context: the desert, where the people await Moses, who climbed the mountain to receive the instructions from God.

What is the desert? It is a place where insecurity and insecurity reign - there is nothing in the desert - where there is no water, there is no food and there is no shelter. The desert is an image of human life, whose condition is uncertain and has no inviolable guarantees. This insecurity generates in man primary anxieties, which Jesus mentions in the Gospel: "What shall we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear? "(Mt 6,31). These are primary anxieties. And the desert causes these anxieties.

And in that desert something happens that triggers idolatry. «Moses was slow to come down from the mountain» (Ex 32,1). He stayed there 40 days and people became impatient. The reference point that was Moses is missing: the leader, the leader, the reassuring guide, and this becomes unsustainable. Then the people ask for a visible god - this is the trap in which the people falls - to be able to identify and guide. And they say to Aaron: "Do for us a god who walks in our head!", "Make us a leader, make us a leader". Human nature, to escape from precariousness - precariousness is the desert - seeks a "do-it-yourself" religion: if God does not show himself, we make ourselves a made-to-measure god. «In front of the idol one does not risk the possibility of a call that brings out one's own certainties, because the idols" have a mouth and do not speak "(Ps 115,5). We then understand that the idol is a pretext to place oneself at the center of reality, in the adoration of the work of one's own hands "(Enc. Lumen fidei, 13).

Aronne can not oppose people's requests and creates a golden calf. The veal had a twofold meaning in the ancient Near East: on the one hand it represented fruitfulness and abundance, and on the other it represented energy and strength. But above all it is golden, so it is a symbol of wealth, success, power and money. These are the great idols: success, power and money. These are the temptations of all time! Here is what the golden calf is: the symbol of all the desires that give the illusion of freedom and instead enslave, because the idol always enslaves. There is charm and you go. That charm of the snake, which looks at the bird and the bird remains without being able to move and the snake catches it. Aronne did not know how to oppose.

But everything stems from the inability to trust above all in God, to place our safety in Him, to let Him give true depth to the desires of our heart. This also allows us to support weakness, uncertainty and insecurity. The reference to God makes us strong in weakness, in uncertainty and also in precariousness. Without God's primacy one easily falls into idolatry and is content with meager assurances. But this is a temptation that we always read in the Bible. And think this well: freeing the people from Egypt to God did not cost so much work; he did it with signs of power, of love. But God's great work was to remove Egypt from the heart of the people, that is, to remove idolatry from the heart of the people. And yet God continues to work to remove it from our hearts. This is the great work of God: to take away "that Egypt" that we carry within, which is the charm of idolatry.

When we welcome the God of Jesus Christ, who made himself poor for us as a rich man (cf. 2 Cor 8: 9), we discover that recognizing our weakness is not the misfortune of human life, but it is the condition to open up to who is really strong. Then God's salvation enters through the door of weakness (cf. 2 Cor 12:10); it is because of his own insufficiency that man opens himself to the fatherhood of God. Man's freedom arises from letting the true God be the only Lord. And this allows us to accept our own fragility and reject the idols of our hearts.

We Christians turn our gaze to Christ crucified (cf. Jn 19:37), who is weak, despised and stripped of all possession. But in him the face of the true God is revealed, the glory of love and not that of shimmering deception. Isaiah says: "By his wounds we have been healed" (53.5). We were healed precisely by the weakness of a man who was God, by his wounds. And from our weaknesses we can open ourselves to the salvation of God. Our healing comes from Him who became poor, who accepted failure, who took our precariousness to the end to fill it with love and strength. He comes to reveal to us the fatherhood of God; in Christ our fragility is no longer a curse, but a place of encounter with the Father and the source of a new force from above.
Greetings in Different Languages:
Je suis heureux de saluer les pèlerins venus de France, de Côte d’Ivoire et de divers pays francophones. Je souhaite que cette période estivale nous aide à tourner notre regard vers le Christ crucifié qui a pris jusqu’au bout notre précarité pour la combler d’amour et de force. Que le Seigneur nous aide ainsi à refuser les idoles de notre cœur. Que Dieu vous bénisse !
I greet all the English-speaking pilgrims taking part in today’s Audience, particularly the groups from Malta and Indonesia. Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke the joy and peace of Our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you all!
Gerne heiße ich die Pilger aus den Ländern deutscher Sprache willkommen. Diese Urlaubszeit lädt uns ein, die Schönheit der Schöpfung Gottes zu bewundern und im Gebet unsere Beziehung zum Herrn wachsen zu lassen. Gott allein kann den Wünschen unseres Herzens echte Tiefe schenken. Der Heilige Geist erfülle euch mit seiner Freude. Schönen Aufenthalt in Rom.
Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española, en modo particular a los grupos provenientes de España y América Latina. Los animo a mirar a Cristo crucificado. Él nos revela el verdadero rostro de Dios y nos enseña que la debilidad no es una maldición, sino un lugar de encuentro con Dios Padre y su amor la fuente de nuestra fuerza y alegría. Que el Señor los bendiga. Muchas gracias.
Queridos peregrinos de língua portuguesa: uma saudação cordial a todos, particularmente aos grupos vindos de Portugal e do Brasil. Faço votos de que esta peregrinação a Roma vos confirme no propósito de seguir o Senhor com coragem, levando a todos o testemunho luminoso do seu amor. Deus vos abençoe!
أرحب بمودة بالحاضرين الناطقين باللغة العربية، وخاصة بالقادمين من الأراضي المقدسة ومن الأردن ‏ ‏ومن الشرق الأوسط. في وجه المسيح المصلوب نكتشف غنى محبة الله الذي أفتقر ليغنينا. إن الأصنام، ‏بعكس هذا، تفقرنا ولتحولنا إلى عبيد أكثر فأكثر. لا وجود لحرية حقيقية بدون تحرير أنفسنا أولا من عبودية ‏الأصنام لنقبل بالمسيح الذي يجعلنا أبناء للإله الأوحد وإخوة فيما بيننا. ليبارككم الرب جميعا ويحرسكم من ‏الشرير‏!
Serdecznie pozdrawiam polskich pielgrzymów. Bracia i siostry, w Chrystusie ogołoconym i pogardzanym objawia się oblicze prawdziwego Boga, chwała miłości, a nie błyskotliwa ułuda. „W Jego ranach jest nasze zdrowie” (53, 5). Zawsze, a szczególnie wtedy, gdy pojawiają się trudności i brak perspektyw, pamiętajcie, że w Chrystusie nasza kruchość nie jest już przekleństwem, lecz miejscem spotkania z Ojcem i źródłem nowej mocy z wysoka. Niech Jego błogosławieństwo stale Wam towarzyszy!
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Dear Italian-speaking pilgrims: welcome!

I am pleased to welcome the Capuchin Sisters of the Holy Family.

I greet the parish groups, the Good Shepherd Institute of Piacenza, the Scout Group of Palermo, the participants in the "Sacro Cuore" Camp-school in Padua, the "Waiting for an Angel" Association and the Members of the "Torchlight for Peace" Val Brembilla: I wish everyone to spread the joy of the Gospel with credible enthusiasm.

I address a particular thought to the young, the elderly, the sick and the newlyweds. Today is the liturgical memorial of St. Dominic of Guzmán, founder of the Order of Preachers. His example of a faithful servant of Christ and his Church is an encouragement and stimulus for us all. A special wish to those who bear this name. And tomorrow, in Europe, we celebrate the feast of Saint Teresa Benedetta della Croce (Edith Stein). Martyr, a woman of consistency, a woman who seeks God with honesty, with love and a martyred woman of her Jewish and Christian people. May she, Patroness of Europe, pray and guard Europe from heaven. God bless you all!

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