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Pointing the finger at ourselves before God frees us from hypocrisy

Tuesday, 15 October 2019



Jesus does not tolerate hypocrisy, Pope Francis told the faithful gathered for Holy Mass at Santa Marta on Tuesday, 15 October. Those who cannot do so are are not good Christians. During his homily the Holy Father reflected on the day’s Gospel passage in which Jesus is invited to lunch by a Pharisee and is then criticized for not performing the ritual ablutions before sitting at the table. The invitation was thus hypocritical because the Pharisees had invited Jesus just “to judge him, not to befriend him”. They were “appearing one way but acting in another”.

Because the Lord does not tolerate hypocrisy, he refers to the Pharisees as “whitewashed tombs”. However this is not meant to be an insult because it is the truth. “The hypocritical attitude stems from the great liar, the devil”, the Holy Father continued. Indeed he is the “great hypocrite” and hypocrites are his “heirs”. Hypocrisy “is the language of evil that enters our heart and is sown by the devil ... Jesus likes to unmask hypocrisy. He knows that this very attitude will lead to his death”.

Hypocritical language is “common, it is an everyday thing”, the Pope said. However “hypocrisy always kills”. The medicine to cure this attitude is “telling the truth before God”. We must “learn to point the finger at ourselves ... This is an uncommon spiritual exercise, but let us try to do it”. “May we learn to blame ourselves”, the Holy Father prayed. He concluded his homily by offering the example of Saint Peter’s prayer to the Lord in which he asks him to “depart from me, for I am sinful man, O Lord”.

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