Do we consume, or are we consumed by our possessions, indulgences, and needs? Unfootnoted advice from Pope Francis:
108. Hedonism and consumerism can prove our downfall, for when we are obsessed with our own pleasure, we end up being all too concerned about ourselves and our rights, and we feel a desperate need for free time to enjoy ourselves. We will find it hard to feel and show any real concern for those in need, unless we are able to cultivate a certain simplicity of life, resisting the feverish demands of a consumer society, which leave us impoverished and unsatisfied, anxious to have it all now.
Too concerned about our own rights: that can be an American thing. It often involves too little focus on our personal responsibilities.
Some correct criticism here, repeated outside of religious circles as well:
Similarly, when we allow ourselves to be caught up in superficial information, instant communication and virtual reality, we can waste precious time and become indifferent to the suffering flesh of our brothers and sisters.
A word of hope, as we begin to conclude this look at Matthew 25:31-46:
Yet even amid this whirlwind of activity, the Gospel continues to resound, offering us the promise of a different life, a healthier and happier life.