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Pope in Japan: Mass in Tokyo, no to “success” even “at cost of life”, worldliness, selfishness. They leave us “unhappy and enslaved”

“Worldly attitudes that look only to one’s own profit or gain in this world, and a selfishness that pursues only individual happiness, in reality leave us profoundly unhappy and enslaved, and hinder the authentic development of a truly harmonious and humane society”. Pope Francis said this in the homily of the Mass he celebrated at the Tokyo Dome, in which he stressed that “the opposite of an isolated, enclosed and even asphyxiated ‘I’ can only be a ‘we’ that is shared, celebrated and communicated”. “Here in Japan, in a society with a highly developed economy, the young people I met this morning spoke to me about the many people who are socially isolated. They remain on the margins, unable to grasp the meaning of life and their own existence”, the Pope observed: “Increasingly, the home, school and community, which are meant to be places where we support and help one another, are being eroded by excessive competition in the pursuit of profit and efficiency. Many people feel confused and anxious; they are overwhelmed by so many demands and worries that take away their peace and stability”. Hence the need to welcome Jesus’ words: “Do not be anxious about your life… about tomorrow”. “This is not an encouragement to ignore what happens around us or to be irresponsible about our daily duties and responsibilities”, Pope Francis explained: “Instead, it is an invitation to set our priorities against a broader horizon of meaning and thus find the freedom to see things his way”. “The Lord is not telling us that basic necessities like food and clothing are unimportant”, the Pope pointed out: “Rather, he invites us to re-evaluate our daily decisions and not to become trapped or isolated in the pursuit of success at any cost, including the cost of our very lives”.

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