Pope Francis said on Sunday that Christians should not become discouraged or remain indifferent to stories of corruption, but instead “be creative in doing good with prudence.”
Speaking from the window of the Apostolic Palace, the pope said in his Angelus address on Sept. 18 that people can “start to complain and play the victim” in times of crisis, even in the Church.
“Brothers and sisters … in our world today there are stories of corruption like in the Gospel: dishonest conduct, unfair policies, selfishness that dominates the choices of individuals and institutions, and many other murky situations. But we Christians are not allowed to become discouraged, or worse, to let go of things, remaining indifferent,” Pope Francis said.
“On the contrary, we are called to be creative in doing good with prudence and the cleverness of the Gospel, using the goods of this world, not only material but all the gifts we have received from the Lord, not to enrich ourselves, but to generate fraternal love and social fellowship.”
The pope’s comments on corruption were inspired by a parable in Sunday’s Gospel in the Church’s liturgical calendar, Luke 16:1-13, a reading that the pope admitted can be difficult to understand at first glance.
Pope Francis said: “Jesus tells the story about corruption: a dishonest manager who steals and then after being discovered by his master, acts shrewdly to get out of the situation. We ask ourselves: what is this shrewdness about … and what does Jesus want to tell us?”
“Jesus uses this story as a way to put before us a provocation when he says: ‘The children of this age are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light.’”
Pope Francis commented that those who live by “certain worldly standards” today seem to know how to get by even when in trouble, while Christians can sometimes be “naive, not knowing how to take the initiative to find ways out of difficulties.”
“I am thinking of times of personal or social crisis, but also Church crisis: sometimes we give in to discouragement or we start to complain and play the victim. Instead, Jesus says we can also be clever according to the Gospel, awake and alert to discern reality and be creative to find good solutions for us and others,” he said.
Before praying the Angelus prayer with the crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis encouraged people to remember: “To inherit eternal life then, there is no need to accumulate goods in this world, but what matters is the charity we have lived in our fraternal relationships.”
The pope prayed for people in Ukraine and all victims of war. He said that he was sorry to hear about the fighting in Armenia on the border with Azerbaijan and is praying for a ceasefire.
“Let us pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary so that she may help us be like herself, poor in spirit and rich in mutual love,” he said.