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Papal Advent advice: Don’t be dominated by material things

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The season of Advent is a reminder to us to open our horizons and have concern for more than just material things, the Pope said Sunday during his Angelus address.

Advent is an invitation “to sobriety, to not be dominated by the things of this world, to material reality, but rather to govern them,” Pope Francis said Nov. 27 in St. Peter’s Square. “If, on the contrary, we are conditioned and overpowered by them, it is not possible to perceive that which is much more important: our final encounter with the Lord: and this is important. That, that encounter.”

The day’s Gospel reading “brings out the contrast between the normal unfolding of things, the daily routine, and the sudden coming of the Lord,” Francis reflected.

“It always strikes us to think of the hours preceding a great calamity: all are tranquil, doing the same things without knowing their life is about to be turned upside down. The Gospel certainly does not wish to scare us, but to open our horizon to another dimension, the largest dimension, which on he one hand relativizes the everyday things but at the same time renders them precious, decisive.”

The things of everyday should be seen from the perspective, the horizon, of our final encounter with Christ, Pope Francis taught. Thus is Advent “an invitation to vigilance, because not knowing when He will come, we must always be ready to depart.”

“In this season of Advent, we are called to enlarge the horizons of our hearts, to be surprised by the life which is presented each day with its novelty. In order to do this we need to learn to not depend on our own securities, our own consolidated plans, because the Lord comes in the hour which we don’t imagine. This introduces us to a much more beautiful, and great, dimension.”

The Pope concluded, praying that Mary would help us to not consider ourselves as owners of our lives, “not resistent when the Lord comes to change them, but ready to meet him as an awaited and agreeable guest, even though he upsets our plans.”









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  1. Patrick Gannon Reply

    “Don’t be dominated by material things” says the leader of the richest religious organization in the world with billions in assets and revenue. The pages of this blog have repeatedly displayed the Church’s opulence and riches. What’s that bit about the speck vs. the log in one’s eye? How does that go? Something like this… “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”
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    Surely he recognizes how hypocritical it is to say such things?
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    ““It always strikes us to think of the hours preceding a great calamity: all are tranquil, doing the same things without knowing their life is about to be turned upside down. The Gospel certainly does not wish to scare us, but to open our horizon to another dimension, the largest dimension, which on he one hand relativizes the everyday things but at the same time renders them precious, decisive.”
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    The gospel most certainly does wish to scare us. The gospel puts fear into us so that the Church, which gave us the fear in the first place, can pretend to relieve us of it. Prior to the gospel there was no fear of eternal punishment. Jesus is not the “good news.” Our condition was not improved by going from a place of permanent unconsciousness in Sheol to eternal fire in Gehenna simply for failing to believe say and do the right things as dictated by the Church in the handful of decades that we live here. Of course the gospel wishes to scare us. That’s what it’s all about, at least from the Catholic perspective.

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