VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis drew on readings from the Gospel of Luke and the Psalms to warn listeners against putting one’s faith in man or accomplishments, rather than God.
“Let us ask the Lord for the grace that he would give to each of us the wisdom to have confidence only in him: not in things, not in human powers — only in him,” the Pope preached in his homily at Mass said March 20 at the chapel of the St. Martha guesthouse.
Only in God do we receive our true name, which is not “I” or “me,” but “son” (or daughter), he said, according to Vatican Radio. But when we place our trust in others, our accomplishments or even ourselves, we lose sight of our true worth as children of God.
Just as in the Psalm, the one who trusts in the Lord “is like a tree planted by the waters,” while the one who trusts in man or himself is “like a barren bush in the desert,” the Holy Father said.
“Today, in this day of Lent, we would do well to ask ourselves: Where is my confidence? In the Lord? Or am I a pagan, who confides in things, in the idols that I have made?”
He said that the “worst misfortune” of the one who trusts in his own strength and the strength of other human persons is to “lose [his or her] name.”
“Do I still have a name? Or have I begun to lose my name and … call myself ‘I’? I, me, with me, for me, only ‘I’?”
Just like the rich man who ignored Lazarus the beggar, the one who trusts in himself and his accomplishments walks along the path of “unhappiness” and “self-centeredness,” taught Pope Francis. “This will not give us salvation.”
However, God always provides us with a chance to turn back to him: “To the end, there is always a possibility.”
Concluding his homily, the Pope said God is waiting to give us back everything that we have lost in our selfishness.
“If ..., we end up losing the name, losing this dignity, there is still a chance to say this word that is more than magic — it is more; it is strong: ‘Father.’
“He always waits for us to open a door that we do not see and says to us: ‘Son.’”