Salvation comes from small things, not power, lavish show, pope says

By Carol Glatz

CITY (CNS) — Salvation is not found through extraordinary things or powerful
people and alliances, Pope Francis said at his morning Mass. God offers it
freely in response to “simple” acts of faith, like helping those in
need, he said.

our minds, salvation must come from something big, from something
grandiose,” the pope said Feb. 29 during the Mass in the chapel of the
Domus Sanctae Marthae.

think that “only the powerful are saved, those who have strength, money,
power, they can be saved. (But) God’s plan is something else,” he said.

pope’s homily looked at the day’s reading from the Second Book of Kings
(5:1-15) in which the army commander, Naaman, doubted the prophet Elisha’s
simple instructions that washing in the Jordan River would cure his leprosy.

also tells the story of Elisha and Naaman in the day’s Gospel reading from Luke
(4:24-30), which triggers fury in his listeners — in “the doctors of the
law who were seeking salvation in moral casuistry” and in many laws, the
pope said, according to Vatican Radio.

doctors of the law and “the Sadducees, who sought salvation in compromises
with the powerful of the world, with the (Roman) Empire — the one group with
the network of clerics, the others with political networks — they sought
salvation that way,” he said.

people had little confidence in these leaders and instead “believed in
Jesus because he spoke with authority.” However many leaders were
indignant “because they cannot understand that salvation only comes from
little things, from the simplicity of the things of God,” the pope said.

never spoke about the path of salvation being linked to “great
things” but rather, he said, to the “little things” expressed in
the Beatitudes and the “Judgment of the Nations,” which refers to
feeding the hungry, welcoming the stranger and the other actions mentioned in
Matthew 25:31-46.

Francis asked that people prepare for Easter by reading the Beatitudes and the
“Judgment of the Nations” and reflecting on what things caused any
discomfort or feelings of disdain in them. Contempt is “a luxury that only
the vain, the proud can afford,” he said.

something in either text stirs up any feelings of disdain, he said, then
“ask for the Lord’s grace to understand that the only path of salvation is
the ‘foolishness of the cross,'” Jesus emptying himself and making himself

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