Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Even in the Church where there is no mercy, there is no justice - "the Bible tells us that mercy is a just judgment" - and even today "when the people of God come voluntarily to ask for forgiveness, to be judged" they often find vicious people "capable of trying to exploit them," they find "dealmakers" who "do not give oxygen to that soul, do not give hope" or they find "the rigid who punish in the penitent they themselves hide in their own soul"
These were the words of Pope Francis during his homily at Mass celebrated this morning in Casa Santa Marta, taking a cue from the readings of the day talking concerning three women and three judges: an innocent woman, Susanna, a sinner, the adulteress, and a poor needy widow.
"All three - he said - according to some church fathers, are allegorical figures of the Church: the Holy Church, the sinful Church and the Church in need." "The three judges are bad" and "corrupt": first of all there is the judgment of the scribes and Pharisees who bring the adulterous woman to Jesus. "They the corruption of rigidity in their hearts". They felt pure because they observed "the letter of the law". "The law says you must do this and this". "But these were not saints, they were corrupt, corrupt because that type of rigidity can only move forward in a double life, and those who condemned these women then went to look for them behind, in secret, to have some fun '. The rigid are - to use the word that Jesus gave them - hypocrites: they lead a double life. Those who judge, let us think about the Church - all three women are allegorical figures of the Church - those who judge the Church rigidly have double life. With such rigidness you cannot breathe".
Then there are the two senior judges who are blackmailing a woman, Susanna, to give in to them, but she resists: "They were vicious judges who were corrupted, in this case, with lust. It is said that when there is this vice of lust it becomes more fierce, more evil with the years. " Finally, there is the judge who importunes the poor widow. This judge "did not fear God and did not care about anyone, he did not care, he cared only about himself." He was "a businessman, a judge who made money out of his career of judging". He was "corrupted by money, prestige". These judges: the moneymaker, the vicious and rigid, "did not know a certain word, they did not know the meaning of mercy."
"Corruption distanced them from understanding mercy, from being merciful. And the Bible tells us that mercy is precisely this: a just judgment. And the three women - the saint, the sinner and the poor widow, allegorical figures of the Church - suffer from this lack of mercy. Even today, the people of God, when they encounter these judges, suffer a judgment without mercy, both in civil, and ecclesiastical circles. And where there is no mercy, there is no justice. When the people God voluntarily draw close to ask for forgiveness, to be judged, how often, how often, do they encounter one of these".
They encounter a vicious judge only "capable of trying to exploit them", and this "is one of the gravest sins"; or they encounter "dealmakers" who "do not give oxygen to that soul, who do not give hope"; or they encounter " the rigid who punish in the penitent they themselves hide in their own soul". "This is called lack of mercy."
Pope Francis concluded "I would just say some of the most beautiful and moving phrases from the Gospel: 'no one condemned you?' - 'No, no one, Lord' - 'Neither do I condemn'. Neither do I condemn you: one of the most beautiful phrases because it is full of mercy. "