Repentant or hypocritical sinner…. Which are you, and which is acceptable to Jesus?
Pope Francis had faithful contemplate this as he presided over a Eucharistic Celebration for the faithful of the Archdiocese of Bologna during his one-day pastoral visit to the northern Italian city, Oct. 1, 2017.
In his homily, Francis recounted the parable of the two sons who, to the father’s request to go to his vineyard, respond: the first says, no, but then goes; the second says yes, but then doesn’t go.
There is a great difference, Francis noted, between the first son, who is lazy, and the second, who is a hypocrite. The Pontiff noted how we can relate, since we are sinners, that sometimes we neither are not always ready to say ‘yes’ with our words and actions.
“Christian life is the humble journey of a conscience that’s never rigid and always in relationship with God, which is able to repent and entrust itself to Him,” the Pope said.
Hypocrisy, duplicity, and detachment from others, he added, are denounced by Jesus and go against this.
“The key word is to repent: it’s repentance that enables one not to become stiff, to transform the no to God into yes, and the yes to sin into no, out of love for the Lord.”
“The will of the Father, who speaks delicately every day to our conscience,” the Pontiff continued, “is fulfilled only in the form of repentance and continual conversion.”
In the end, he stressed, there are two roads in each one’s journey: to be repentant sinners or hypocritical sinners.
However, what counts is not reasoning that justifies and tries to save appearances, but a heart that advances with the Lord, struggles every day, repents and returns to Him, because the Lord seeks the pure of heart, not the pure “on the outside.”
As in a family, where one must encounter and dialogue, the same must be done in Church and society Francis stressed, before saying: “In the Church’s journey, the question often arises: where to go, how to go forward?”
Offering some advice, Francis left them with three points of reference:
The first, he said, was the Word, “the compass to walk humbly, to not lose the way of God and fall into worldliness.”
The second, the Pope continued, is the Bread “because everything begins from the Eucharist.”
“It’s in the Eucharist,” he reminded, “that the Church is encountered: not in gossip and chronicles, but here, in the Body of Christ shared by sinful and needy people, who, however, feel loved and then desire to love.”
The third, the Holy Father said is the poor, lamenting “still today many persons lack what is necessary, but reminding: ‘In all of them, we find Jesus.’
“The Word, the Bread, the Poor: let us ask for the grace not to forget these basic goods, which support our journey.”
On ZENIT’s Web page:
Full Translation: https://zenit.org/articles/popes-homily-in-bologna/