Daily homily from Santa Marta
VATICAN CITY — In order to be merciful to others, we need to be courageous enough to acknowledge our own faults and sins, Pope Francis said on Friday at Holy Mass in the Chapel of Santa Marta.
The Pope emphasized the need to learn not to judge others; otherwise we risk becoming hypocrites, he said, “from the Pope on down.”
Pope Francis’ homily was a reflection on St. Paul’s Letter to Timothy (1:2,12-14), and the Lord’s teaching on mercy, forgiveness and the need to avoid judging others, contained in the Gospel of Luke (6:39-42). He said the Lord speaks to us about the reward contained contained in his command: Do not judge and you will not be judged. Do not condemn and you will not be condemned.
Have the courage to acknowledge one’s own faults
“But we can say: ‘So, this is all fine, isn’t it?’ And each of us can say: ‘Yes Father, this is all fine but how can it actually be done, where does one start with this?’ And what’s the first step for going along this path?’ We see that first step in today’s first Reading and the Gospel.The first step is to acknowledge our own faults. The courage to acknowledge them before accusing others. And Paul praises the Lord because he chose him and gives thanks because ‘he has judged me trustworthy, even though I used to be a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man.’ But this was mercy.”
Beware of being hypocrites, from the Pope on down
Quoting Christ’s words to take the log out of our own eye first, Pope Francis stressed that it is essential to acknowledge our own faults before we can see clearly enough ‘to take the splinter out of our brother’s eye.’
“And Jesus uses that word that he only uses with those who are two-faced, with two minds: ‘Hypocrites! Hypocrite. Men and women who can’t learn how to acknowledge their own faults become hypocrites. Everyone? Everyone, starting from the Pope on down: everyone. If of of us can’t acknowledge his own faults and then talks … about other people, that person is not a Christian, he is not part of this very beautiful work of reconciliation, peace-making, tenderness, goodness, forgiveness, generosity and mercy that Jesus Christ brought to us.”
The Pope went on to urge us to stop ourselves in time when we are tempted to speak badly about others.
“When we get tempted to talk to people about the faults of others, we must stop ourselves. And me? And have the courage that Paul had, here: ‘I used to be a blasphemer, a persecutor, a violent man’… But how many things can we say about ourselves? Let’s refrain from comments about others and let’s comment about ourselves. And this is the first step along this path of magnanimity. Because a person who can only see the splinters in the eyes of others, falls into pettiness: a petty mind, full of pettiness, full of chatter.”
Pope Francis concluded his homily saying let us ask the Lord to give us the grace to follow Jesus’ advice to be generous with forgiveness and generous with mercy, adding that a person who has never spoken badly about others, should be canonized immediately.