MORNING MEDITATION IN THE CHAPEL OF THE
Let’s learn the language that children speak
4 June 2013
(by L'Osservatore Romano, Weekly ed. in English, n.
24, 12 June 2013)
Once again Pope Francis talked about corruption. On Tuesday morning, 4 June,
he reflected on the language that corrupt people normally speak, namely, the
language of hypocrisy. It is the same language, he said, as the one that Satan
spoke in the wilderness when he tempted Jesus.
This was the subject of the Pope’s homily at the early morning Mass he
concelebrated in the Chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae together with, among
others, H.B. Nerses Bedros XIX Tarmouni, Patriarch of Cilica for Armenians, and
Archbishop Jean-Louis Brugučs, Archivist and Librarian of Holy Roman Church, who
had accompanied a group of Vatican Apostolic Library staff.
The Pontiff commented on the day’s Gospel (Mk 12:13-17), in which the
Evangelist recounts the attempt by several Pharisees and Herodians to ensnare
Jesus. Only some of them, the Pope specified, because “they were not all bad”.
They pretended they knew the truth but their intention was something else, they
wanted to catch him out. They went to him and said: “Teacher, we know that you
are true, and care for no man... for you do not regard the position of men, but
truly teach the way of God”. However they did not believe in what they were
saying. It was flattery”. This “is exactly how the flatterer speaks; he uses
lovely soft words, excessively sugary words”.
The Pope said, “we talked about corrupt people. Today let us discover the
language of the corrupt. What is their language? This: the tongue of hypocrisy.
It is not we who say this, it is not I, but Jesus, who was aware of their
hypocrisy”. Hypocrisy, he stressed further, is “the language of the corrupt.
They do not like the truth. They only like themselves and so they try to deceive
and to involve others in their falsehood, in their lying. They have a false
heart, they are unable to tell the truth. The very language Satan spoke after
the fast in the wilderness: you are hungry, you can turn this stone into bread.
Why do you work so hard? Throw yourself down from the temple. This language
which seems persuasive, leads to error and to lies”. And with Pilate these
Pharisees were to speak the same language: “we have only one king who is
Caesar”. This language is an attempt of “diabolical persuasion”. In fact those
who were then “praising” Christ “ended by betraying him and sending him to the
Cross. Jesus, looking them in the face, said as much, calling them “hypocrites”.
Thus hypocrisy is certainly not the “language of truth. For truth”, the Pope
said, “is never alone: it is always accompanied by love. There is no truth
without love. Love is the first truth. And if there is no love there is no
The Holy Father ended: “let us ask the Lord today that our way of speaking
may be that of the simple, the language of children, the language of God’s
children and consequently the language of the truth in love”.