From death to resurrection!
“My beloved brothers and sisters,
In order to get us prepared for Easter, Pope Francis addressed us a message titled after Christ’s words: “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.” Specifically referring to our parishes, he further explains:
“Love also grows cold within our communities. In the Apostolic Exhortation “Joy of Gospel” (Evangelii Gaudium) I attempted to outline the most obvious traces of this lack of love: selfish sloth, arid pessimism, the temptation to draw to ourselves and to bestow to endless fratricidal conflicts, the mundane mentality that leads us to occupy ourselves with the superficial, thus diminishing the missionary spirit.”
I would like to draw your attention, briefly outlining the following:
SLOTH stands for sluggishness, unwillingness to work. The Pope names it selfish because it results from our ego. Could unwillingness to offer our services to parochial or Caritas activities result from sloth?
PESSIMISM is the tendency to only look at the unpleasant side of things or to expect an unpleasant outcome of a situation. He calls it arid because it is counter-productive and it condemns the pessimist to idleness: not to struggle for anything.
FRATRICIDAL CONFLICTS refer to all those situations that turn us into opponents: because we think the other person took our position, insulted us, belittled us, accused us, slandered us, was unfair to us, and so on. It may be true sometimes, but it may also result from our pride. And then we start to mumble, to spread rumors against them, to comment within the organization or the parish. And everyone gets tangled in the situation and nobody can find the truth. Fratricidal conflicts, because they kill brothers!!! Because when we accuse one another we accuse our brothers and sisters in Christ! We use to say that we believe in Jesus Christ our Savior and we receive in holy communion Christ’s Body and Blood, whereas we breed “fratricidal conflicts” and we celebrate (!) Easter in our lethal conflicts, without remorse and mutual forgiveness, with the excuse: “I’m right, it’s the other person’s blame!” But whoever spreads rumors, and complaints, and accusations are also guilty: they succumbed to fratricidal conflict, they drew to themselves, according to the Pope, becoming tough and unable to forgive.
The MUNDANE MENTALITY refers to the interest for what is visible: we collect and distribute material goods, we organize events that yield money. But we are disinterested in the missionary spirit: we limit ourselves to Sunday Mass and we do not seek to further cultivate our spirit, to further explore our faith. Beyond material offering, we do not cater for professing our faith, for supporting the faith of those who received benefit.
RESURRECTION – my brothers and sisters – stands for overcoming all the above leading us to death; being driven by Christ’s spirit; becoming new persons, changing our mentality and behavior, reviving!
May the Lord support us in our weakness with his grace to help us exit this tomb of death and to resurrect: to start living the true life of fraternal love and union. This is the only way to truly celebrate Easter: passing to a new life”!
Athens’ Catholic Archbishop
Apostolic Administrator of
Rhodes’ Catholic Archdiocese