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    » 03/03/2015, 00.00

    VATICAN

    Pope: "a thousand times Jesus preferred sinners" to hypocrites



    "In the second week of Lent we have these three words to think about, to ponder: the invitation to conversion; the gift that the Lord will give us, which is great forgiveness, a great forgiveness; and the trap, that is, pretending to convert, while choosing the path of hypocrisy. "

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "A thousand times Jesus preferred sinners" to hypocrites, those who "pretend to be converted", but "whose heart belongs to Satan," and if you "learn to do good," God "generously forgives" all sin, said Pope Francis in his homily at Mass celebrated this morning at Casa Santa Marta, inspired by a passage from Isaiah and the Gospel of the day that speaks of those "who say the right things, but do the exact opposite."

    Reflecting on the first reading from Isaiah, Pope Francis said the prophets' words describe an "invitation and an imperative" that come directly from God: "Cease to do evil, learn to do good" defending orphans and widows, namely "those who no one remembers".   Pope Francis said this category includes the "abandoned elderly" "children who do not go to school" and those "who do not know how to make the sign of the Cross". Essentially it is an invitation to conversion.

    "But how can I convert? 'By learning to do right!'. Conversion. You cannot remove the filth of the heart as you would remove a stain: we go to the dry cleaner and leave cleansed ... This filth is removed by 'doing': taking a different path, a different path from that of evil. 'Learn to do right!', That is, the path of doing good. And how do I do good? It's simple! 'Seek justice, encourage the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow'. Remember that in Israel the poorest and most needy were orphans and widows: do justice to them, go there to the wounds of humanity, where there is so much pain ... And by doing so, by doing good, you will cleanse your heart ".

    Pope Francis continued that a cleansed heart is promised God's forgiveness.  God does not keep account of the sins of those who concretely love their neighbors.  "If you do this, if you take this path to which I invite you - the Lord tells us - 'though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow'. It is an exaggeration, the Lord exaggerates: but it is the truth! The Lord gives us the gift of His forgiveness. The Lord forgives generously. 'I forgive you this much, then we'll see about the rest....' No, no! The Lord always forgives everything! Everything! But if you want to be forgiven, you must set out on the path of doing good. This is the gift! '.

    Pope Francis went on to say the Gospel of the day, instead, presents the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and Scribes. He was reflecting on people "who say all the right things, but do the exact opposite." "We are all clever and always find a path that is not right, to seem more virtuous than we are: it is the path of hypocrisy". "They pretend to convert, but their heart is a lie: they are liars! It 'a lie ... Their heart does not belong to the Lord; their heart belongs to the father of all lies, Satan. And this is fake holiness. Jesus preferred sinners a thousand times to these. Why? Because sinners told the truth about themselves. 'Get away from me, Lord, I am a sinner!': Peter once said. One of those [the hypocrites] never says that! 'Thank you Lord, that I am not a sinner, that I am righteous  ... In the second week of Lent we have these three words to think about, to ponder: the invitation to conversion; the gift that the Lord will give us, which is great forgiveness, a great forgiveness; and the trap -- that is, pretending to convert, while choosing the path of hypocrisy".

     

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    See also

    15/04/2016 14:21:00 VATICAN
    Pope: We all have hardness of heart, but God always gives us the grace to rise again

    Francis speaks of the conversion of Saint Paul: "Saul the strong, the certain, was on the ground" after the call of a voice. But it is then that he "understands the truth, not to be a man of God, because God created all of us to stand up, with our head held high. The voice from heaven says not only 'Why do you persecute me?', But invites Paul to his feet: 'Get up and you will be told".



    03/09/2013 VATICAN
    Pope: the tranquil light of Jesus drives out without armies the devil's false light
    During Mass in Santa Marta chapel, Pope Francis distinguishes between the light of Jesus, which "doesn't put on a show" but "comes into the heart", and the "artificial" and "proud" light of the world that rejects the cross. The light of Jesus defeats the devil without the need to use force.

    07/10/2013 VATICAN
    Pope warns against everyday temptation to "flee from God "
    Commenting on the biblical passages of Jonah and the Good Samaritan , Francis notes that sometimes someone who is “distant” is capable "of letting" God write their lifestory, "while a Christian may want “to write” his or her own.

    18/11/2014 VATICAN
    Pope: Jesus' call to conversion for Christians who are "lukewarm", "comfortable" or "only concerned with appearances"
    "Feeling spiritually comfortable is a state of sin." "When conversion reaches our pockets, its certain. Christians in heart? Yes, everyone is. Christians by blood? All of us. However, Christians with pockets, very few ". The Church calls us to remember the Word of God, appeals to our memory, to be custody it, to be vigilant, and also to obey the Word of God, so that we can begin a new life, converted ".

    17/01/2014 VATICAN
    Pope: Christians and the temptation to "sell ourselves" to be "normal" and "like everyone else"
    In the homily at Mass in Santa Marta, Pope Francis warns Christians against the "worldly normality", which forgets the election we have received and induces us to live with an "inferiority complex" not being "normal people " . In order not to fall into this trap, it is important to open our hearts to the Word of God, to walk the "true" path.



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