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Pope: John the Baptist is allergic to hypocrites

Pope Francis angelus

VINCENZO PINTO/AFP/East News

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 12/04/22

Even if we're hypocrites, the Pope says, "Jesus is waiting for us and never gets tired of us. He never gets tired! And we are annoying, but he never gets tired!"

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Pope Francis reflected this December 4 on the seemingly harsh, frightening figure of John the Baptist, wondering why the Church proposes him as our companion for our Advent journey.

In reality, the Baptist, more than being a harsh man, is a man who is allergic to duplicity. Listen well to this: allergic to duplicity. For example, when the Pharisees and Sadducees, who were known for their hypocrisy, approach him, his “allergic reaction” is quite strong! 

The Pope invited us to wonder if we aren’t all a bit like the Pharisees.

Do we look at others from to to bottom, judging, “thinking that we are better than them, that we have our lives under control”?

Advent is a moment of grace to take off our masks – every one of us has them – and line up with those who are humble, to be liberated from the presumption of the belief of being self-sufficient, to go to confess our sins, the hidden ones, and to welcome God’s pardon, to ask forgiveness from those whom we have offended. This is how to begin a new life.

We have to “see ourselves, along with our brothers and sisters, as sinners, and to see Jesus as the Savior who comes for us, not for the others, for us, just as we are, with our poverty, misery and failings, above all with our need to be raised up, forgiven and saved,” the Pope said.

And let us remember one thing: with Jesus, there is always the possibility of beginning again. It’s never too late. There is always the possibility to begin again. Be courageous. He is near to us and this is the time of conversion.

Everyone might think: “I have this situation inside, this problem that I am ashamed of.” But Jesus is next to you. Begin again. There is always the possibility of taking a step forward. He is waiting for us and never gets tired of us. He never gets tired! And we are annoying, but he never gets tired!

Let us listen to John the Baptist’s appeal to return to God. And let us not let this Advent go by like days on the calendar because this is a moment of grace, a grace for us too, here and now! May Mary, the humble servant of the Lord, help us to meet Him, Jesus, and our brothers and sisters on the way of humility, which is the only one that will help us go ahead.

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AdventPope FrancisScripture
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