May 18

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Pope Francis: No Small Talk, No Envy, No Jealousy


Vatican City, May 18, 2014 / 05:30 am (CNA).- In his Sunday Angelus message, Pope Francis reflected the Apostles’ method of solving problems as an example for the whole Church.

When the early Christians struggled to care for the growing community, “the Apostles took the situation in hand – they called a large meeting also with the disciples, discussing the question together,” he said on May 18.

“Seeking advice, discussing, and praying – this is how problems in the Church are resolved, with the certainty that gossip, envy, (and) jealousy can never lead us to concord, harmony or peace,” Pope Francis explained to the crowds filling St. Peter’s Square and spilling out to the street.

Sunday’s scripture passage from the Acts of the Apostles recounts how even in the early church “the first tensions and disagreements emerged.”

There are always problems in life, acknowledged the Pope. “The problem is how one confronts (them).”

“Problems are never, in fact, solved by pretending that they do not exist!” he stressed.

The Apostles faced a situation in which the presence of ethnic differences between Hebrews and Greeks in the Christian community led to “complaints, rumors of favoritism and unequal treatment.”

“This happens also in our parishes!” said Pope Francis, comparing the situation to modern life in the Church.

He reflected that the “frank discussion” between the Apostles and the other disciples helped them to arrive at a “division of labor.”

“The Apostles make a proposal that is accepted by all: they will devote themselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word, while seven men, deacons, will provide serve at the tables for the poor.”

The men who were chosen as deacons were not necessarily “experts,” but were “honest men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom; and constituted in their service through the imposition on of hands by the Apostles.”

The Holy Spirit was also there “to crown this agreement,” added the Pope. “this tells us that when we allow the Holy Spirit to guide, he leads us to harmony, to unity and respect for different gifts and talents. Do you understand? No small talk, no envy, no jealousy! Get it?” he emphasized.

Permanent link to this article: http://bookofheaven.org/2014/05/18/pope-francis-no-small-talk-no-envy-no-jealousy/