"Let us ask the Lord to teach us, first, to free ourselves of rigidity, to rise above, to be able to worship and praise God; to teach us to reconcile with each other; and also, to teach us how to agree to disagree".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Jesus "knows us", "he knows our nature". Therefore he urges to reach agreement when we argue with each other. "He also teaches us a healthy realism". "Often we can not achieve perfection, but at least do what we can, to get along," because demanding "all or nothing" is not Catholic, it is "heresy”, said Pope Francis at Mass this morning at Casa Santa Marta.
The Pope was reflecting on the words of Jesus: "your righteousness shall exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees." The people were "somewhat lost" because "those who taught the law were inconsistent" in their "witness of life." So Jesus asks us to overcome this, to "rise above". Thus he takes the first Commandment as an example: "Love God and love your neighbor." He points out that whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment. "This is good to hear, in this time when we are so accustomed to qualifications and we have a creative vocabulary when it comes to abusing others."
This, he resumed, “is a sin," it is "murder, because it is slapping our brother’s soul" his "dignity." And we often use so many bad words "with great charity, but we say them to others." Again, referring to the presence of children at the Mass, he asked people to stay "calm", "because the sermon of a child in the church is more beautiful than that of the priest, than that of the bishop or that of the pope." Let them be, was his call, "theirs is the voice of innocence that does us all good to hear”.
Jesus, the Pope continued, wants "this disoriented people " to look "up" and go "forward." But "how often in the Church do we hear these things: how often! 'But, that priest, that man, that woman from Catholic Action, the bishop, the Pope tell us:' You have to do this! ', And we do the opposite. That is the scandal that hurts the people and does not allow God's people to grow, going forward. They are not free. Also, these people had seen the rigidity of these scribes and Pharisees, and even when a prophet came and gave them a little 'joy he was persecuted and even killed: there was no room for prophets there. And Jesus says to them, the Pharisees: 'You killed the prophets, you have persecuted the prophets who brought fresh air' '.
"The generosity, the holiness," which Jesus asks of us, "is to always go forth, but to rise up, beyond. To go beyond". This, said Francis, is "liberation" from the "rigidity of law and also from the idealism that does not do us good". Jesus "knows us", "he knows our nature”. He therefore urges us to reach agreement when we argue with each other. "Jesus also teaches us a healthy realism." "Often we cannot achieve perfection, but at least we can do our best, to get along."
"This is the healthy realism of the Catholic Church, the Catholic Church never teaches us either 'this or that'. That's not Catholic. The Church says: 'This is this'. 'Achieve perfection: Be reconciled to your brother. Do not insult him. Love him. But if there is any problem, at least try to agree, so that war does not break out'. This is the healthy realism of Catholicism. It is not a Catholic 'this or nothing': that is not Catholic. That is heretical. Jesus always knows how to walk with us, he gives us the ideal, he takes us towards the ideal, he frees us from the cage of the rigidity of the law and tells us: 'But, do as much as you can'. And he understands us well. And 'this is our Lord, that's what he has taught us. "
The Lord, he said again, he asks us not be hypocrites: not to go to praise God with the same tongue that we use to insult our brother. "Do what you can", "this is the exhortation of Jesus", "at least avoid war among you, get along." "And allow me to say you this word which seems a bit 'strange: it is the little sanctity of negotiations. 'But, I cannot accept everything, but I want to do everything, so I will agree with you, at least not to insult, to not make war so we can all live in peace'. Jesus is great! He frees us of all our miseries. Even from that idealism that is not Catholic. Let us ask the Lord to teach us, first, to free ourselves of stiffness, to rise up, to be able to worship and praise God; to teach us to reconcile with each other; and also, to teach us how to agree to disagree".