Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "How much gossip there is in the Church! How we Christians gossip!" A behavior that can take on three aspects: disinformation, defamation and slander and "all three are sins." Again today, at Mass celebrated in St. Martha, Pope Francis recounted an episode in the life of St. Peter and today too uses it to warn the Christians of our time.
The episode, as reported by Vatican Radio, is one in which Jesus addressed to Peter, asking him: "What is it to you?" Because the Prince of the Apostles was meddling in John's life.
Peter, the Pope pointed out, had "a dialogue of love" with the Lord, but then the dialogue "is diverted to another track," and he also suffers from a temptation: "to interfere in the lives of others." How do you say "vulgar," said the Pope, Peter becomes "nosy". Focus is therefore on two modes of this mix in the lives of others. First, the "comparison", "to compare oneself with others." When there is this comparison, Pope Francis said, "we end up in bitterness and even envy, but envy rusts the Christian community, "it brings much hurt," the "devil wants that." The second mode of this temptation, he added, is gossip. It begins "in an educated way," but then we end up "feeling bad". "We all chat in Church! As Christians we chat! The chatter is hurtful? We hurt one another. It is as if we want to put each other down.: instead of growing one makes the other feel small while I feel great. That will not do! It seems nice to chat ... I do not know why, but it looks nice. Like sweet of honey, right? You take one and then another, and another, and another, and in the end you have a stomach ache. And why ? The chatter is like that eh? It is 'sweet at first and it ruins you, it ruins your soul! Rumours are destructive in the Church, they are destructive ... It's 'a little' like the spirit of Cain who killed his brother, his tongue; it kills his brother!"
On this road, the Holy Father said, "we become Christians of good manners and bad habits." But how do we do this ? Normally, Pope Francis noted, "we do three things". "We supply misinformation: we tell only half that suits us and not the other half, the other half we do not say because it is not convenient for us. Some smile ... Is that true or not? Did you see that thing? It goes on. The second is defamation: When a person truly has a flaw, it is big, they tell it, 'like a journalist' ... And the character of this person is ruined. And the third is the slander of saying things that are not true. It is like killing ones brother! All three - disinformation, defamation and slander - are sins! This is sin! It is to slap Jesus in the person of his children, his brothers".
That is why Jesus does with us what he did with Peter when he says: "What is it to you? Follow me, "The Lord in this instance" points the way ". "'This kind of talk will not do you any good, because it will just bring to the Church a spirit of destruction. Follow me! '. These are the beautiful words of Jesus, it is so clear, that he has so much love for us. As if to say: 'Don't have fantasies, believing that salvation is in the comparisons with others or in gossip. Salvation is to go behind me '. Following Jesus! Today we ask the Lord Jesus to give us this grace not to ever get involved in the lives of others, not to become Christians of good manners and bad habits, it is to follow Jesus, to walk behind Jesus on his way. And this is enough".
During his homily, Pope Francis also recalled an episode from the life of St. Therese who wondered why Jesus gave so much to one and not to another. The older sister then took a thimble and a glass and filled them with water and then asked Therese which of the two was more full. "But both are full," said the future saint. Jesus, the Pope said, does this with us", "he does not care if you're big, you're or small." What interests him is "if you are filled with the love of Jesus."