No one must kill in God's name. Instead each and every one not only can but must
do good, whatever faith they profess, for “they have within them the commandment
to do good”, since they are “created in the image of God”. This was the essence
of Pope Francis’ reflection on Wednesday morning, 22 May, for those who took
part in the early Mass which he celebrated in the Chapel of the Domus Sanctae
The Gospel passage proclaimed at the Mass (Mk 9:38-40) refers to the
disciples' complaint about a person who was doing good but who did not belong to
their group. “Jesus reprimands them. ‘Do not prevent him, let him do good’. The
disciples, without thinking, were fixed on an idea: we alone can do good,
because we alone possess the truth. And none of those who do not possess the
truth can do good”, the Pope specified further.
However this an erroneous attitude and Jesus corrected them. Is it licit “for
us to ask ourselves who can do good and why? What do Jesus’ words ‘do not
prevent him’ mean? What lies behind them?”. In this case “the disciples were
somewhat intolerant”, but “Jesus broadened their horizons and we may imagine
that he said: ‘if this person can do good, we can all do good. So can anyone who
is not one of us’”.
“The Lord created us in his image”, and if “he does good, let all of us keep
this commandment in our heart: do good and do not do evil. Everyone”.
The idea that we cannot all do good is a form of closedness, “a barrier”, the
Pope emphasized, “that leads us to war”, and “to killing in God’s name”. We
cannot kill in God’s name”. Indeed, even “saying that one can kill in God’s name
is blasphemy”. The Lord redeemed everyone with Christ’s blood, “everyone, not
only Catholics. Everyone”. And atheists? “They too. It is this blood that makes
us children of God”.
Concelebrating with the Pope were, among others, Cardinal Béchara Boutros Raï,
Patriarch of Antioch for Maronites, and Archbishop emeritus Fabriciano Sigampa
of Resistencia, Argentina. Among those present were Mr Jorge Capitanich,
Governor of the Argentine Province of Chaco, and a group of staff of the
Building Services of the Governorate of Vatican City State.