Pope Francis called on Catholics to choose charity and prayer over consumerism this Advent, during his first Mass of the new liturgical year.
“Resist the dazzling lights of consumption, which will shine everywhere this month, and believe that prayer and charity are not lost time, but are the greatest treasures,” Pope Francis said in his homily on Dec. 1 in St. Peter’s Basilica.
Pope Francis was celebrating an Advent Mass with immigrants from the Democratic Republic of Congo, in which he warned against the selfish attitudes in a society where “consumerism reigns.”
“Consumerism is a virus that affects the faith at its root because it makes you believe that life depends only on what you have, and so you forget about God,” he warned reported CNA.
“The meaning of life is not to accumulate,” he said.
“When you live for things, things are never enough, greed grows and others become obstacles in the race and so you end up feeling threatened and, always dissatisfied and angry … ‘I want more, I want more, I want more,’” he said. “One has many goods, but no good is done.”
The Mass at St. Peter’s Altar of the Chair was also to mark the 25th anniversary of the foundation of the Congolese Catholic Chaplaincy of Rome.
It included traditional Congolese music and was celebrated according to the Congolese rite, at the Altar of the Chair in the basilica.
The pope also called for peace in the African country.
“Today we pray for peace, seriously threatened in the east of the country, especially in the territories of Beni and Minembwe, where conflicts are raging, fed also by the complicit silence of many. Conflicts fueled by those who get rich selling weapons,” he said.
Pope Francis reminded the immigrants that the word Advent means “coming.”
“The Lord comes,” he said. “Here is the root of our hope: the assurance that the consolation of God reaches us among the tribulations of the world, a consolation that is not made of words, but of presence, of His presence that comes among us.”