Jesus tells the truth; He does not yield to the logic of casuistry, behind which hypocrisy hides.
According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis stressed this during his daily morning Mass at his residence Casa Santa Marta, commenting on today’s Gospel in which the Doctors of the Law ask the Nazarene: “Is it licit for a husband to repudiate his wife?”
According to the Holy Father, they use this question to put Jesus “to the test,” who instead is not deceived. “They only thought of the faith in terms of ‘it can’ or ‘it cannot’ be done, up to where it can, up to where it cannot “ be done. The Pontiff describes it as the “logic of casuistry,” in which “Jesus does not enter.”
In fact, the Savior addresses a question to them: “But what did Moses order? What is in your Law?” And they “explain the permission that Moses gave to repudiate one’s wife, and they are in fact the ones who fall into the trap. Because Jesus describes them as ‘hard of heart’: ‘Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote this norm for you,’ and He says the truth, without casuistry, without permissions – the truth,” continued Francis.
Jesus never negotiates with the truth, commented the Pontiff. And He does so also when His disciples ask him about adultery, to whom He repeats: “One who repudiates his wife and marries another, commits adultery toward her, and if she has repudiated her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”
Despite adultery being “grave,” reflects the Pope, Jesus speaks so often with an adulteress, a pagan, even drinking “from her glass, which was not purified.” He confronts the sinner and in the end absolves her thus: “I do not condemn you. Do not sin again.”
Pope Bergoglio describes this “way of Jesus” as a course that goes “from casuistry to the truth and to mercy.” Therefore, he commented: “Jesus leaves casuistry out. To those who wished to put Him to the test, to those who thought with this logic of ‘it can’ <be done>, he describes – not here but in another passage of the Gospel; — as hypocrites. Also with the fourth Commandment, they refused to assist their parents with the excuse that they had made a good offering to the Church. Hypocrites, casuistry is hypocritical. It is a hypocritical thought. ‘It can – it cannot’ be done … which then becomes more subtle, more diabolic: but up to where can I? But from here to here, I cannot. It is the deceit of casuistry. “
A Christian’s task is to imitate Jesus, having truth coincide with mercy, which in the Savior is “the incarnation of the Father’s Mercy.” To succeed in this task “is not easy,” clarified Francis. “The grace of God is needed.”
Hence, his invitation to turn to the Lord: “’Lord, may I be just, but just with mercy.’ Not just, covered by casuistry. Just in mercy, as you are. Just in mercy. Then, one of a casuistic mentality can ask: ‘But what is more important in God, justice or mercy?’ It is also a bad thought that seeks to find a way out … What is more important? They are not two: they are only one, only one thing.”
Therefore, “in God justice is mercy and mercy is justice. May the Lord help us to understand this way, which isn’t easy, but which will make us happy and will make many people happy,” concluded the Pope.