'Schizoid' world brags it's free while chained to greed, pope says

By Carol Glatz

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Christian freedom is being free
from worldly ambition, fashion and passion and being open to God’s will, Pope
Francis said.

The world today “is a bit schizoid, schizophrenic,
right? It shouts, ‘Freedom, freedom, freedom!’ but it is more slave, slave,
slave,” he said in his homily April 13 at morning Mass in the Domus
Sanctae Marthae.

People need to think about what kind of freedom they seek
in the world, he said.

Is it Christian, he asked, or “am I slave to my
passions, my ambitions, to many things, to wealth, to fashion. It seems like a
joke, but so many people are slaves to fashion!”

Pope Francis’ homily looked at three examples of
Christian freedom that were depicted in the day’s first reading from the Acts
of the Apostles (5:34-42)
and the Gospel reading (Jn

first reading told how the Pharisee, Gamaliel, convinces the Sanhedrin to free Peter and
John from prison. He made the decision, the pope said, based on a trust that
God would eventually let the truth be known about the apostles and by using his
power of reason without letting it be warped by quick ambition.

“A free man is not afraid of time — he leaves it to
God. He leaves room
for God to act in time. The free man is patient,” the pope said.

Pontius Pilate, for example, was a man who was
intelligent and could think reasonably, however, he wasn’t free, the pope said.
“He lacked the courage of freedom because he was a slave to careerism,
ambition and success.”

Even though Peter and John were innocent and were punished
unjustly after they were freed from prison, they did not go to a judge to
complain or demand reparation, the pope said.

They freely chose to rejoice and suffer in Christ’s name
just as Christ suffered for them, he said.

“Even today there are so many Christians, in prison,
tortured who carry forward this freedom to proclaim Jesus Christ,” he

Finally, Jesus himself gives an example of freedom when
he escapes to the mountain alone after he realizes the people were going to
carry him off to make him king after the miracle of the multiplication of the

“He detached himself from triumphalism. He does not let
himself be deceived” by this attitude of superiority, and makes sure he
remains free, the pope said.

True freedom, he said, is making room for God in one’s
life and following him with joy, even if it brings hardship and suffering.

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