“When we learn to accuse ourselves of our sins, we can become merciful with others.”
These were Pope Francis’ words during his homily at Casa Santa Marta this morning. According to Vatican Radio, the Holy Father reflected on today’s Gospel from St. Luke, in which Jesus preaches on being merciful with others.
“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven,” Jesus says.
The Pope said that mankind is “master…in justifying ourselves.”
“We all have an alibi that explains out shortcomings, our sins, and many times we are capable of making that face of ‘I don’t know’, a face that says ‘I didn’t do it, maybe somebody else did’: to pretend to be innocent. And one cannot go forward in Christian life like this.”
Continuing his reflection on mercy, the 78 year old Pontiff stressed that the first step in being merciful with others is to reflect on one’s own sins instead of judging those who have sinned.
“Have you thought that you have been capable of doing those things they did, maybe even worse?’, he asked. “This is to accuse oneself, to not hide from oneself the roots of sin that is in us, the many things that we are capable of doing, even if we don’t see it.”
The Holy Father went on to say that the Lenten season offers an opportunity to Christians to reflect and “accuse” themselves.
“The phrase – “Who am I to judge the other?” – he said, obeys Jesus’ exhortation: “Do not judge and you will not be judged; do not condemn and you will not be condemned; forgive and you will be forgiven.”
“May the Lord, in this Lent give us the grace to learn to accuse ourselves.”