Saint Martha June 11, 2018 © Vatican News

Santa Marta: Love with Small Gestures

The Church is Persecuted by Hypocrites

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How to love? «Jesus looks at the little gesture of love, the small gesture of goodwill,» Pope Francis said in his September 20, 2018, homily at morning Mass in Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican.
In his homily reported by Vatican News, the Pope meditated on the Gospel in which Jesus forgave the sinful woman (Luke 7: 36-50): «Her sins, her many sins, are forgiven since she has shown much love. But how to love?»  The pope asked — and he answered: «Jesus looks at the little gesture of love, the small gesture of goodwill, and he takes it and moves it forward. It is the mercy of Jesus: he always forgives, he always receives «.
Doctors of the law, the pope noted, «have an attitude that only hypocrites often use: they are scandalized»: «But look at this scandal! We can not live like this! We lost values … now everyone has the right to enter a church, divorced too, everyone. Where are we? »
It is «the scandal of hypocrites … it is the hypocrisy of the ‘righteous’, the ‘pure’, of those who believe themselves saved by their own external merits,» continued Pope Francis: they are «unable to meet love because they have a closed heart «.
And «the Church, when she walks in history, is persecuted by the hypocrites,» «from the inside and the outside,» observed the Pope: «The devil has nothing to do with sinners repented, because they look at God and say, ‘Lord, I am a sinner, help me’. And the devil is powerless. But he is strong with the hypocrites. He is strong and uses them to destroy, destroy people, destroy society, destroy the Church. The devil’s workhorse is hypocrisy, because he is a liar: he shows himself to be a mighty prince, very handsome, and behind he is a murderer. »
For the pope, this episode of the Gospel illustrates «the dialogue between the great forgiving love of Jesus … and ours, which is an incomplete love because none of us is canonized». In conclusion, he invited «to be merciful like Jesus, and not to condemn others». «Jesus in the center,» he insisted.

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