Pope Francis celebrates Mass in Santa Marta

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Pope’s Morning Homily: Beware of 'Virus' of Hypocrisy

During Mass at Santa Marta, Warns Against Self-Righteous Attitude Which Seduces With Lies

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Pope Francis has prescribed the “medicine” for if one is “infected” by the “virus” of hypocrisy: praying.

During his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, the Holy Father warned against hypocrisy, calling it a self-righteous attitude “that seduces with lies that lurk in the shadows,” reported Vatican Radio.

The Pope began by reflecting on today’s Gospel from Luke, in which Jesus and His disciples are in the midst of a crowd who are trampling on each other. The Pontiff pointed out that Christ warned His disciples: “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees.” The Pope observed that yeast is “a very small thing,” yet Jesus speaks about it as if it were a “virus.”

Almost like a doctor, Jesus is warning his fellow partners about the risks of it becoming an epidemic, Francis said.

Hypocrisy, the Pontiff explained, does not have a color, rather it plays with halftones and creeps in, seducing with a lie.

“This yeast is a virus that will cause you to get sick and die. Beware! This yeast brings darkness. Beware! But there is one that is greater than this: it is the Father who is in heaven.”

The Pontiff told those gathered that praying, as indicated by Christ, is the only way to avoid the infection. Francis concluded, saying that only with prayer can one avoid falling into that “self-righteous attitude” of hypocrisy.

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Daily Mass readings provided by the US bishops’ conference:

Friday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 471

Reading 1ROM 4:1-8

Brothers and sisters:
What can we say that Abraham found,
our ancestor according to the flesh?
Indeed, if Abraham was justified on the basis of his works,
he has reason to boast;
but this was not so in the sight of God.
For what does the Scripture say?
Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.
A worker’s wage is credited not as a gift, but as something due.
But when one does not work,
yet believes in the one who justifies the ungodly,
his faith is credited as righteousness. 
So also David declares the blessedness of the person
to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:

Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven
and whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not record.

Responsorial PsalmPS 32:1B-2, 5, 11

R. (see 7) I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation.
Blessed is he whose fault is taken away,
whose sin is covered.
Blessed the man to whom the LORD imputes not guilt,
in whose spirit there is no guile.
R. I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
my guilt I covered not.
I said, “I confess my faults to the LORD,”
and you took away the guilt of my sin.
R. I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation.
Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you just;
exult, all you upright of heart.
R. I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation.

AlleluiaPS 33:22

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
May your kindness, O LORD, be upon us;
who have put our hope in you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 12:1-7

At that time:
So many people were crowding together 
that they were trampling one another underfoot.
Jesus began to speak, first to his disciples,
“Beware of the leaven–that is, the hypocrisy–of the Pharisees.

“There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed,
nor secret that will not be known.
Therefore whatever you have said in the darkness
will be heard in the light,
and what you have whispered behind closed doors
will be proclaimed on the housetops.
I tell you, my friends,
do not be afraid of those who kill the body
but after that can do no more.
I shall show you whom to fear.
Be afraid of the one who after killing
has the power to cast into Gehenna;
yes, I tell you, be afraid of that one.
Are not five sparrows sold for two small coins?
Yet not one of them has escaped the notice of God.
Even the hairs of your head have all been counted.
Do not be afraid.
You are worth more than many sparrows.”

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, at times from the papal flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has done television and radio commentary, including for Vatican Radio, Sky, and BBC. She is a contributor to National Catholic Register, UK Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside the Vatican, and other Catholic news outlets. She has also collaborated with the Vatican in various projects, including an internship at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and is a collaborator with NBC Universal, NBC News, Euronews, and EWTN. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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