After receiving baptism, every man dresses in new dignity. Yet, “there is a possibility that this dignity, granted to us by God, may degrade. To use football terminology, man has the ability to score ‘own goals'” – says Pope Francis during the meeting with the Italian Biblical Association (ABI), received today in the Clementine Hall on the occasion of the National Bible Week. “It happens – Bergoglio said – when we negotiate dignity, when we embrace idolatry, when we make room for the experience of idols in our hearts.” The pontiff also reiterated the fact that God created us ‘with artisan means’, shaping the mud of the earth, that is, the hands of God have compromised with our lives. He did not create us only with his words, but also with his hands and his breath, as if to say that the whole being of God is involved in giving life to the human being.”
On the topic of idols, the Pope reminded about “the attractive force of wealth, the fact that man loses his dignity when riches take the place of God in his heart.” “All idols have a golden detail, right?” – He added by way of introduction to his reflection on the story of the people of Israel, which during the Exodus, frightened by the absence of Moses, built the golden calf. Pope Francis has invited to ask ourselves the following question: how can one “partake in the dignity of the children of God”? “How can I share this dignity, to make it develop in a positive reciprocity? How can I make the other feel worthy? How I can ‘infect’ others with dignity? When someone despises, segregates, and discriminates, he does not infect with dignity, but does the opposite. It would be good for us to wonder frequently: ‘how do I find my dignity? How can I increase it? It will also be good for us to search ourselves and find out when we do not infect our brothers with dignity.”
In his opening speech, ABI President Father Luca Mazzinghi recalled the work done by the Association this year, which certainly has to explore more thoroughly –“from different approaches and points of view – the original function, even before the cultural one, of the relationship between man woman, the dynamics of power and violence inside this relationship, or the relationship as an image of God, without neglecting the world of emotions and affections produced by the Scriptures.” At the beginning, Pope Francis greeted “those present, especially the president, and the Cardinals, Cardinal Bassetti, Cardinal Betori, and Cardinal Ravasi”.