Greed, selfishness corrupt beauty of God's creation, pope says

By Junno Arocho Esteves

CITY (CNS) — Humanity’s greed and selfishness can turn creation into a sad and
desolate world instead of the sign of God’s love that it was meant to be, Pope
Francis said.

beings are often tempted to view creation as “a possession we can exploit
as we please and for
which we do not have to answer to anyone,” the pope said Feb. 22 at his
weekly general audience.

carried away by selfishness, human beings end up ruining even the most
beautiful things that have been entrusted to them,” the pope said.

As an early sign of spring, the audience was held
in St. Peter’s Square
for the first time since
November. Despite the chilly morning temperatures, the pope made the
rounds in his popemobile, greeting pilgrims and kissing bundled-up infants.

his series of talks on Christian hope, the pope reflected on St. Paul’s Letter
to the Romans, which expresses
the hope “that creation itself would be set free from slavery to

St. Paul,
the pope said, reminds Christians that creation is a “marvelous gift that
God has placed in our hands.”

this gift, he said, “we can enter into a relationship with him and
recognize the imprint of his loving plan, which we are all called to achieve

however, breaks communion
not only with God but with his creation, “thus making it a slave,
submissive to our frailty,” the pope said.  

about water. Water is a beautiful thing; it is so important. Water gives us
life and it helps us in everything. But when minerals are exploited, water is
contaminated and creation is destroyed and dirtied. This is just one example;
there are many,” he said, departing from his prepared remarks.

When people break their relationship with creation,
they not only lose their original beauty, he said, but they also “disfigure everything
surrounding them,” causing a reminder of God’s love to become a bleak sign
of pride and greed.

St. Paul tells believers that hope comes from
knowing that God in his mercy wants to
heal the “wounded and humbled hearts” of all men and women and,
through them, “regenerate a new world and a new humanity, reconciled in
his love,” Pope Francis said.

Holy Spirit sees beyond the negative appearances for us and reveals to us the
new heavens and the new earth that the Lord is preparing for humanity,”
the pope said.

is the content of our hope. A Christian does not live outside of the world; he
knows how to recognize the
signs of evil, selfishness and sin in his own life and in what surrounds him,”
he said. “But at the same time, a Christian has learned to read all of
this with the eyes of Easter, with the eyes of the risen Christ.”

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Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.

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