The Word of God makes it clear that only through mercy can true justice can be delivered. This was the reflection given by Pope Francis during his morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta today.
According to Vatican Radio, the Holy Father focused on today’s readings as well as a different Gospel passage, which presented three different women in history. The first from the Book of Daniel is the wife of Joakim named Susanna, an innocent woman sentenced unjustly to death. The second, from the Gospel, was the adulterous woman sentenced to be stoned and the third, a poor widow in need.
The Pope said that all three are allegorical figures of the Church: the Holy Church, the Sinful Church and the Needy Church. Those who falsely accused, condemned or unjustly wronged them, he noted, were scribes or judges that Jesus denounced as ‘hypocrites’.
“These weren’t saints, they were corrupt, corrupt because such rigidity can only go forward in a double life and those that condemned these women would then look for her, in secret, to have some fun,” he said. “The rigid ones are – I use the word that Jesus gave them – hypocrites: they live double lives. Those who judge, we think of the Church – all three women are allegorical figures of the Church – those who judge the Church with rigidity have double lives. With rigidity one can’t even breathe.”
Regarding the judges who unjustly sentenced Susanna rather than investigate the truth, the Pope said that their corruption brought them far from understanding the concept of mercy.
“The three women – the saint, the sinner and the needy, are allegorical figures of the Church – they suffer from this lack of mercy,” he noted. “Also today, the people of God, when they find these judges, suffer a judgement without mercy, whether civil or ecclesiastical. And where there is no mercy there is no justice.”
The 78 year old Pontiff went on to say that this lack of mercy can clearly be seen with those willing to stone the adulterous woman as well. This rigidity, he said, “is called a lack of mercy.”
Pope Francis concluding his homily by Jesus response to the lack of mercy shown to the adulterous woman.
“I only want to say one of the most beautiful words of the Gospel that moves me so much: ‘Has no one condemned you?’ – ‘No, no one, Lord’ – ‘Neither do I condemn you.’ Neither I do condemn you: one of the most beautiful words because it is full of mercy,” he said.