In his homily for daily Mass at the St. Martha Residence in the Vatican, Pope Francis warned members of today's congregation in the chapel to be on the alert for things that could become "hidden idols" in our lives that could keep us away from union with Christ. “Even today, there are so many idols, and even today there are so many idolaters, so many who think they are wise,” Francis said. Referring to today's first reading from the first chapter if St. Paul's letter to the Romans, the Holy Father said that there are those who have not accorded God due honor and glory "although they knew God." The sin of idolatry "stifles the truth of the faith."
“When we do not worship God, we worship creatures. And this is the passage from faith to idolatry,” Francis preached. “These people, idolaters, have no excuse,” declared the Pope, “because having known God, they have neither glorified nor worshiped Him as God.”
“And what is the way of idolatry? He says clearly: ‘they became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless minds were darkened.’ The selfishness of their own thoughts, the omnipotent thought, that which I think is true: I think the truth, I make the truth with my thought.” Today's idolatry has simply taken on new forms, but it is still idolatry. “even today there are so many idolaters, so many who think they are wise,” said Francis, “but even among us, among Christians, eh? I’m not speaking about them, I respect them, those who aren’t Christians. But among us – we’re speaking within the family.” The Holy Father warned against having an attitude of practicing the faith and thinking that one knows everything. "They’ve become foolish and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God with an image: myself, my ideas, my comforts,” warned the Pontiff. Warning that "we all have some hidden idol," Pope Francis said "we can all ask ourselves in the sight of God: 'What is my hidden idol, what takes the place of God?'"
Citing Luke's Gospel for the day, which includes a great warning from Jesus against hypocrisy, the Pope said appearances mean very little if not backed up by clear faith. “Jesus counsels: don’t look at appearances, go by the truth,” the Pope said, “the plate is the plate, but what is important is what’s on the plate: the meal.”
“If you are vain, if you are a careerist, if you are ambitious, if you are a person that always puts himself forward or likes to advance yourself, because you think you are perfect, give a little bit of alms and that will heal your hypocrisy. This is the way of the Lord,” Francis said, “it is to worship God, to love God above all things and to love your neighbor. It’s so simple, but so difficult! This can only be done with grace. Let us ask for this grace.”