» 03/07/2014, 00.00
Pope: Christianity is not "ethics", but "a story of salvation" and the "bending over the flesh" of our brothers and sisters
"Do not be ashamed of the sick, poor or elderly flesh of our brothers or sisters", because "it is our same flesh. We will be judged for whatever we do for this brother, this sister".
City ( AsiaNews) - Christianity is not "ethics", but "a story of
salvation" and the "bending over the flesh" of our brothers and
sisters and not being ashamed of it: It is going to break bread with the
hungry, cure the sick, the elderly, those who can not give us anything in
return: it is not being ashamed of their flesh".
this morning at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis underscored that our life of
faith is closely linked to a life of charity towards the poor, without which
what one professes is just hypocrisy. Vatican Radio reports that the Pope
centered his reflections on the principle that Christianity is the
"flesh" of Christ who bends without being ashamed over those who
suffer. Francis was inspired by the dialogue of today's Gospel between Jesus
and the doctors of the law, who criticize the disciples for their failure to
observe fasting, unlike them and the Pharisees who instead fast a lot. The fact
is that the teachers of the law had transformed the observance of the
Commandments into a "formality", transforming "religious
life" into "ethics" and forgetting the root, that is, "a
story of salvation, election, covenant". "To receive the love of a
Father from the Lord, to receive from the Lord the identity of a people and
then turn it into an ethic is to refuse the gift of love. These hypocritical
people are good people, they do whatever they are told to. They seem good! They
are ethicists, but ethicists without goodness, because they have lost their
sense of belonging to a people! The Lord gifts salvation within a people, in
belonging to a people".
the Prophet Isaiah - in the first reading - had clearly described what fasting
was according to the vision of God : "loose the bonds of wickedness",
" to free the oppressed " , but also "share your bread with the
hungry, welcome the homeless, the poor into your house"," clothe the
is the fast that the Lord wants! A person who is fasting that cares about the
life of their brother and sister, who is not ashamed - so Isaiah himself says -
of the flesh of his brother. Our perfection, our holiness goes ahead with our
people, in which we are elected and inserted. Our greatest act of holiness is
precisely in the flesh of our brother and in the flesh of Jesus Christ. Our act
of holiness today, here on the altar, it is not a hypocritical fast: we are not
ashamed of the flesh of Christ, who is here today! It is the mystery of the
Body and Blood of Christ. It is going to share your bread with the hungry, cure
the sick, the elderly, those who can not give us anything in return: it is not
being ashamed of the flesh".
that "a more difficult fasting" the fasting of goodness." It's the
fast that the Good Samaritan is capable of, who bends down over the injured,
and not that of the priest, who looks at the same unfortunate but walks on,
perhaps for fear of being contaminated. And so, he concludes, "this is the
proposal of the Church today : Am I ashamed of the flesh of my brother, my
sister?" . "When I give alms, do I drop the coin without touching
their hand? And if I touch it, I do this right away? When I give alms, do I
look into the eyes of my brother, my sister? When I know that a person is sick,
do I go to visit them? Do I greet them with affection? There is a sign that
perhaps will help us, it is a question: Do I caress the sick, the elderly,
children or have lost the sense of a caress? These hypocrites did not know how
to caress! ... They had forgotten. Do
not be ashamed of the flesh of your brother, it is our flesh! We shall be
judged on whatever we do for this brother, for this sister".
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