“We must learn to accuse ourselves: ‘I did this, I think this way, wickedly ... I am envious; I would like to destroy that ...’. What is inside, ours, and tell ourselves, before God.” “This spiritual exercise is not commonplace, it is not usual, but let us try to do it”.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – In his homily during the Mass he celebrated at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis spoke about the Gospel passage (Lk 11: 37-41) in which Jesus, invited to dine by a Pharisee, was criticised by his host for not observing the ritual washing.
In his address, the pontiff said we must learn to accuse ourselves before God to "heal" ourselves from hypocrisy, which is the devil’s language. “There is an attitude that the Lord does not tolerate,” he said. And that is “hypocrisy. This is what is in today’s Gospel. Jesus is invited to dine, to be judged, not to be befriended." Hypocrisy "is just about appearing one way and being in another". It is about secretly thinking differently from what the way one looks.
Jesus could not stand hypocrisy. He often referred to the Pharisees as hypocrites, whitewashed tombs. Jesus is not insulting; he is telling the truth. "From the outside one is perfect, starched even with correctness, but on the inside one is something else".
For Francis, a "hypocritical attitude comes from the great liar, the devil", the "great hypocrite" and the hypocrites are his "heirs". Indeed, "Hypocrisy is the devil’s language, it is the language of evil that enters our heart, sown by the devil. One can't live with hypocritical people but some do exist. Jesus liked to expose hypocrisy. He knew precisely that hypocritical attitudes would lead him to death, because hypocrites do not think whether they use lawful means or not, they go on. Slander? Let’s slander. False witness? Let’s seek a false witness."
It could be objected "that there is no such hypocrisy among us," but this is a mistake, the Pope explains. “Hypocritical language, I won't say it's normal, but it's widespread, every day: appearing one way and being in another. In the struggle for power, for example, envy and jealousy make one appear one way”. But “there is poison inside that kills because hypocrisy always kills; sooner or later, it kills."
To recover from such attitude, we need "the truth before God. Let us accuse ourselves. We must learn to accuse ourselves: ‘I did this, I think this way, wickedly ... I am envious; I would like to destroy that ...’. What is inside, ours, and tell ourselves, before God.”
"This spiritual exercise is not commonplace, it is not usual, but let us try it: accuse ourselves, see ourselves in sin, in hypocrisies, in the wickedness that is in our heart; for the devil sows wickedness and tells the Lord: ‘Look Lord, how I am!’ and says it with humility."
Learning to accuse ourselves is "perhaps something too hard but it is like this: A Christian who does not know how to accuse himself is not a good Christian". He risks falling into hypocrisy.
In his prayer Peter told the Lord to move away from him because he was a sinful man. Hence, “let us learn to accuse ourselves".