29 March 2015

Pope Francis, Palm Sunday, and shameless selfies

I'm not shy about making known my belief that selfies and selfie sticks epitomize a self-absorbed mentality which is growing ever more pervasive around the world or that at least is losing its shame. Such ego-centrism is clearly demonstrated by pictures such as this one retweeted by Patrick Madrid:

What's more important, the photographer or the tragedy?

This bizarre and shameless self-absorption was recently demonstrated in New York following the gas explosion in the East Village, which led the New York Post to publish a critical article under the headline, "Heartless visitors mug for selfies at East Village blast site," and this cover image:
In his homily for Palm Sunday, His Holiness Pope Francis compared the way of Jesus with the way of the world:
This is God’s way, the way of humility. It is the way of Jesus; there is no other. And there can be no humility without humiliation.

Following this path to the full, the Son of God took on the “form of a slave” (cf. Phil 2:7). In the end, humility also means service. It means making room for God by stripping oneself, “emptying oneself”, as Scripture says (v. 7). This – the pouring out of oneself - is the greatest humiliation of all.

There is another way, however, opposed to the way of Christ. It is worldliness, the way of the world. The world proposes the way of vanity, pride, success… the other way. The Evil One proposed this way to Jesus too, during his forty days in the desert. But Jesus immediately rejected it. With him, and only by his grace, with his help, we too can overcome this temptation to vanity, to worldliness, not only at significant moments, but in daily life as well [more].
How do selfies not represent the other way, the way of the world, that way that is not that of Jesus?

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