As Christians, we are called to be free from passions and to not be a cause of scandal for others.
These were the sentiments expressed by Pope Francis during his homily at Casa Santa Marta this morning.
According to Vatican Radio, the Holy Father reflected on St. Paul’s Second letter to the Corinthians in which he exhorts Christians to not “receive the grace of God in vain” and not be a cause of scandal for others.
“We cause no one to stumble in anything, in order that no fault may be found with our ministry,” St. Paul writes.
The Pope exhorted the faithful presence to not give a reason for scandal to no one.”
“It is the scandal of the Christian who says they are Christian, he even goes to Church, he goes on Sundays to Mass but doesn’t live like a Christian, he lives like a worldly person or like a pagan,” he said.
“And when a person is like that, they scandalize. How many times we have heard in our neighbourhoods, in businesses: ‘Look at this one or that one, every Sunday at Mass and then does this, this, this, and this…;’ And the people are scandalized. This is what Paul says: ‘To no receive in vain. And how should we receive it? First of all, he says it is the ‘favorable moment. We should be attentive to understand the time of God, when God passes through our heart.”
Free from Passions
Continuing his homily, the 78 year old Pontiff exhorted the faithful to guard their hearts from “every noise that doesn’t come from the Lord.”
In today’s Gospel, he continued, Jesus explains the actions of one whose heart is free from passions.
“But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well,” Jesus says.
“The heart is guarded by humility, by meekness, never from fighting, from wars. No!” the Pope exclaimed.
“This is noise: worldly noise, pagan noise or noise from the devil. The heart in peace; ‘We give no reason of scandal to no one, in order that no fault may be found with our ministry’, Paul says but he speaks of the ministry and also the Christian witness, so that it may not be criticized.”
Concluding his homily, Pope Francis called on the faithful to guard their hearts in order to receive the gift of a heart free from passions.
“And how do I do it?” he asked.
“Paul continues: by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, with the spirit of holiness.’ Humility, kindness, patience, that God only looks upon, and the open heart to the Lord who passes by.”