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Store up the lasting treasures of loving God, others, pope says
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — Attachments to money, beauty and power are forms of slavery that make one's heart old and cold, cutting the person off from God and from others, Pope Francis says.

"Love, patience, serving others, adoring God -- these are true riches that can never be stolen," the pope said June 20 at his early morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae where he lives.

According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis focused his homily on the day's Gospel reading, Matthew 6:19-23, which includes Jesus telling his disciples, "Where your treasure is, there also will your heart be."

Pope Francis said that even on a practical level, Jesus' admonition to his disciples was very wise, because earthly treasures "are not certain: they fade or thieves come" and steal them.

The first of the treasures Jesus warns against, he said, "is gold, money, riches: You aren't safe with these because they can be stolen, right? Investments do not give security because the stock market can crash and you will be left with nothing. And, besides, would just one more euro make you happy?"

Money, he said, is useful for supporting one's family and accomplishing many good things, "but if this is your treasure, it will steal your soul."

Another danger, the pope said, involves vanity, prestige and looking good, which all come to an end. As St. Bernard of Clairvaux said, in the end one's beauty is simply "food for worms," Pope Francis noted.

As for power, the pope said, it often makes people a target and very seldom lasts long.

"How many great, proud, powerful men and women end up forgotten in poverty or prison," he said.

Jesus' message is that focusing on money, vanity, power and pride "binds one's heart. Your heart becomes a slave," he said, while Jesus wants people to have a "heart that is free."

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