No more double lives. Convert now…
According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis gave this advice to faithful during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, as he reflected on how converting shouldn’t be on our list of procrastinated items, because scandal destroys.
Drawing inspiration from today’s Gospel, the Pope urged: “Cut off your hand,” “Pluck out your eye,” but “don’t scandalize the little ones,” referring to the just, those who confide in the Lord, who believe simply in the Lord.
“But what is scandal?” the Pontiff asked, noting scandal is saying one thing and doing another.
“It is a double life, a double life. A totally double life: ‘I am very Catholic, I always go to Mass, I belong to this association and that one; but my life is not Christian, I don’t pay my workers a just wage, I exploit people, I am dirty in my business, I launder money…’ A double life. And so many Christians are like this, and these people scandalize others.”
How Many Times
“How many times have we heard – all of us, around the neighborhood and elsewhere – ‘but to be a Catholic like that, it’s better to be an atheist.’ It is that, scandal. You destroy. You beat down.”
This, Francis lamented, happens every day, and is seen all the time on TV or in the papers.
“In the papers, there are so many scandals, and there is also the great publicity of the scandals. And with the scandals there is destruction.”
Francis then gave the example of a company that was on the brink of failure. While the workers were wishing to avoid a just strike, the company had not done well, and they wished to talk with the company’s authorities.
The people, the Argentine Pontiff noted, didn’t have money for their daily needs because they had not received their wages. Yet, the head of the company, a Catholic, Pope Francis said, was taking his winter vacation on a beach in the Middle East, and the people knew it.
“These are scandals,” Francis said.
“Jesus talks, in the Gospel, about those who commit scandal, without saying the word ‘scandal,’ but it’s understood: But you will arrive in heaven and you will knock at the gate: ‘Here I am, Lord!’ – ‘But don’t you remember? I went to Church, I was close to you, I belong to this association, I did this… Don’t you remember all the offerings I made?’
‘Yes, I remember. The offerings, I remember them: All dirty. All stolen from the poor. I don’t know you.’
That, Francis warned, will be Jesus’ response to these scandalous people who live a double life.
“The double life comes from following the passions of the heart, the capital sins that are the wounds of original sin,” hiding the passions, but following them, the Pope explained. The first Reading, in fact, tells us that they do not satisfy, and not to trust in riches, to not say, “There’s enough for myself.” And so Pope Francis calls us to not put off conversion:
Pope Francis then encouraged all faithful to consider if there is something of a double life within us, and if as we seem to be good believers, good Catholics, underneath, we are doing something else.
‘But, sure, the Lord will eventually forgive everything, but I’ll keep going as I have been…’ If there is something saying, “Sure, this is not going well, I will convert, but not today: tomorrow.’ Let’s think about that. And let us profit from the Word of the Lord.
Pope Francis concluded, reminded those present that scandal destroys.