Even if we have been living a shady past, if we open our hearts to the mercy of Jesus, so He can clean our hearts and souls, Jesus will trust us.
When celebrating Mass at the parish of Santa Maria Madre del Redentore Sunday evening in the Roman suburb of Tor Bella Monaca, the Holy Father exhorted parishioners to come clean with their sins, in order to receive the Lord's mercy.
“We cannot, in front of him, pretend to be holy, and then close our eyes, and have a life he doesn't want." The Lord knows it, the Pope stressed, saying, "We all know the name that Jesus gave those who are two-faced: hypocrites.”
Reflecting on John’s Gospel, the Holy Father reflected on the image of Jesus with a whip in hand that casts out all those who took advantage of the Temple to do business.
Given their actions, despite their alleged 'believing' in Jesus, the Pope said, Jesus didn't trust them.
"We cannot fool Jesus: He knows us from within. He did not trust. He, Jesus, did not trust. This can be a good question to ask ourselves mid-Lent: Can Jesus trust me? Jesus can trust me, or am I two-faced?"
"Am I a Catholic, one near the church, and then live like a pagan? 'But Jesus does not know, no one is going to tell him.'"
The Lord knows it, Francis stressed, reminding those gathered Jesus knows everything that is within our hearts.
"We will do well today," he said, “to enter our hearts and look at Jesus. Tell him: ‘Lord, look, there are good things, but there are things not good. Jesus, you trust me? I'm a sinner ...’
Our past, the Holy Father said, does not deter Jesus from forgiving us. “But if your heart is not right, if you do not do justice, if you do not love those who are in need of love, if you do not live according to the spirit of the Beatitudes, you're not Catholic. You are a hypocrite."
In prayer, we must examine whether Jesus can trust us, Francis underscored. "If we open our hearts to the mercy of Jesus, so he can clean our hearts, our souls, Jesus will trust us."
During the parish visit, Pope Francis also met with various groups, including the ill and children.
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For the full text of the Pope's homily, go to: