“Each one of us, every day, does something ugly.” The Bible, in fact, says that even “the most holy people sin seven times a day.”
The problem, the Pope said, lies in not getting into the habit of “living in ugly things” and not avoiding those things that “poison the soul,” that make it small.
But we have to work on doing good.
The First Reading, the Jesuit Pope noted, then continues with the invitation from the Lord.
“Come , let us reason together.” “Arise” – a beautiful word, Pope Francis said, a word that Jesus addressed to the paralytics, to the daughter of Jairus, as well as to the son of the widow of Naim. And God gives us a hand to help us up.”
“And He is humble, He lowers Himself so much to say, “Come, let us reason together.” Pope Francis emphasized how God helps us: “Walking together with us to help us, to explain things to us, to take us by the hand.” The Lord is able “to do this miracle” – that is, “to change us” – not overnight, but on a journey.
The Invitation to Conversion
“An invitation to conversion, avoid evil, learn to do good… ‘Come, arise, come to me, let us reason together, and let us go forward.’ But [you might say] I have so many sins…’ ‘But don’t worry’ [God responds]. ‘If your sins should be like scarlet, they will become white as snow.’”
This, Francis stressed, is the path of Lenten conversion.
“Simple. It is the Father who speaks, it is the Father who loves us, who really loves us. And who accompanies us on this path of conversion. Only He asks us to be humble. Jesus says to the rulers: ‘He who exalts himself will be humble; and he who humbles himself will be exalted’.”
Pope Francis concluded, recalling stages along the path of Lenten conversion: “avoiding evil, learning to do good, getting up and going with Him. And then, he said, “our sins will all be forgiven.”