Service, not power, is the true Christian path, pope says

By Junno Arocho Esteves

(CNS) — Those who
seek only power and greatness, especially within the church, follow a different
path than Jesus, who told
his disciples to serve and not to be served, Pope Francis said in a morning homily.

May 17 during Mass in his residence, the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the pope said Jesus speaks a language of
humiliation, death and redemption, while others “speak the language of
climbers” who only thinking of rising to the top of the heap.

“The greatest is the one
who serves the most, the one who is always at the service of others, not the
ones who boast, who seek power, money, vanity and pride,”
he said, according to Vatican Radio.

pope focused his homily on the day’s Gospel reading (Mk. 9:30-37), in which the
disciples argued about who was the greatest among them.

anyone wishes to be first, he shall be
the last of all and the servant of all,” Jesus tells them.

The pope
said that although the disciples were tempted to think in a worldly way, Jesus
teaches them a different path where “service is the rule.”

The search
for power, he said, “is a story that
happens every day in the church, in every community: ‘Who is the greatest among
us?’ ‘Who is in charge?’
Ambitions; in every community — in the parish or in institutions — there is
always this desire to climb,
to have power,” the pope said.

Those who
have the “worldly desire” to seek vanity and power “spare no
expense to get there (through) gossip” and destroying other people’s
reputations, he said.

and jealousy make these paths,
and they destroy; we all know this. This happens today in every institution of
the church: parishes, colleges
and other institutions, even among bishops … everyone. It is the desire of the spirit of
the world which is a spirit of wealth, vanity and pride,” the pope said.

worldly spirit, he continued, is a temptation “to destroy the other in
order to rise up,” which
only “divides and destroys the church.”

would do us well to think of the many times we have seen this in the church and
the many times that we have done this, and ask the Lord to enlighten us, to
understand that love for the world — that is, for this worldly spirit — is
the enemy of God,” Pope Francis said.

– –

Follow Arocho on
Twitter: @arochoju.

– – –

Copyright © 2016 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at

Original Article