Vatican City, 8 November 2015 (VIS) – Before this Sunday's Angelus the Pope commented on the day's Gospel reading, divided into two parts: the first on how not to be a follower of Christ and the second, conversely, on the model of an ideal Christian. “In the first part, Jesus criticises the scribes, teachers of the law, for three defects in their lifestyle: pride, greed and hypocrisy”. Under their solemn appearances “they are hiding falsehood and injustice. … There is a risk that these attitudes exist even in our day. For example when prayer is separated from justice, because we cannot worship God and cause harm to the poor. Or when one claims to love God, and instead offers God one’s vainglory, to one’s own advantage”.
The second part describes the scene in the Temple of Jerusalem, precisely in the place where people threw coins as offerings. “There are many rich people who pay a lot of money, and there is a poor woman – a widow – contributing just two mites, two small coins. … The rich gave with great show what for them was superfluous, while the widow, with discretion and humility, gave – Jesus says – “all she had to live”; for this – Jesus says – she gave the most of all”.
Today, continued the Holy Father, “Jesus also tells us that the measurement is not quantity but fullness. There is a difference. ... It is possible to have a lot of money but to be empty. There is no fullness in a heart like this”.
He concluded by encouraging all those present to think during this week of the difference between quantity and fullness. “It is not a question of the wallet, but of the heart. Faced with the needs of others, we are called to deprive ourselves of essential things, not only the superfluous; we are called to give the necessary time, not only the surplus that is left over; we are called to give immediately and unconditionally some of our talent, not only after using it for our own purposes or for those of our group”.