That was the message from Monsignor Angelo De Donatis to Pope Francis and members of the Roman Curia this week, as he led them in meditation and prayer on the third day of their Lenten Retreat.
L’Osservatore Romano reported that to explain his metaphor, Msgr. De Donatis had with him a juicy pomegranate which he held up before the pontiff and the rest of the group.
To illustrate his point, the papal preacher had a fresh, ripe pomegranate on hand and held it up for all to see. He noted, however, that the beauty of the human creature is destined for ruin if man prevents the breath of God, i.e. divine merciful love, from penetrating him to the core. Developing the metaphor, Msgr. De Donatis explained that when this occurs, each of the little seeds, seized by the desire for self-assertion, seek to grow larger in a despotic competition with the others until they explode and destroy the fruit.
To further explain evil’s effect on man, the papal preacher drew upon the Gospel account of Jesus’ meeting with the dmoniac, reported by the evangelist Mark (5:1-20). He enumerated the most salient points: the dialogue; the demon’s begging not to be driven out to wander through the countryside; Jesus’ questioning the demon to elicit its name; the demon’s description of himself as “Legion” whereby he indicated the enormous number of demons that had taken possession of the man; their request least to be sent into the nearby heard of swine; and their entrance into the herd, which caused them to rush down the steep bank into the sea, where they drowned.
The herdsmen’s reaction to these events remind us of what is happening in the world today, Msgr. De Donatis said. Indeed, no one even took note of the young man who had been liberated from the demon; they were more concerned by the economic disaster which had been caused by the death of 2,000 pigs. They even begged Jesus to depart from their neighborhood; and he left in silence. Thus, he concluded, it was economic ideology that prevented them from encountering Jesus.
Monsignor De Donatis explained that this pagan economic theology prevents people from encountering Christ in today’s world, as well. Religion stands in the face of this pagan economic theology; and it is the Holy Spirit who helps us to know God’s merciful love.
It’s an interesting analogy. Read the rest of the story here.