When we insult others, we silence them, taking away their voice.
According to Vatican News, the Pope stressed this during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta as he reflected on today’s Gospel (Matthew 5:20-26), reminding Jesus calls on us to ‘radical reconciliation.’
To reason with His disciples, the Jesuit Pope reminded, Jesus uses human wisdom in reasoning with the disciples, especially using an everyday example of how insults harm, to highlight how important it is to have loving relationships.
Jesus warns that insults “open up a path that ends in murder,” Francis said, lamenting that with them, we disqualify others and rob them of their respectability.
“By insulting people we silence them, we take away their voice,” he said.
A reason why insults are so dangerous, he noted, is because they lead to envy, which is how, Francis reminded, the devil entered the world according to the Book of Wisdom.
“When another person does something I don’t like … or when someone threatens me, envy pushes me to insult them.”
We should ask ourselves, the Pope urged: “Have I insulted anyone today? When do I use insults? When do I close my heart to another with an insult? Can I see the bitter root of envy there that pushes me to desire the destruction of another in order to avoid competition, rivalry, that type of thing.”
“It’s not easy,” the Pope admitted. Yet, he encouraged, “let’s think how beautiful it would be if we never insulted others. May the Lord grant us this grace.”
Jesus calls on us to end this cycle, Francis warned.
“When you go to Mass and you are aware that one of your brothers has something against you, go and reconcile yourself… Jesus is that radical.”
Pope Francis concluded, reminding reconciliation is not the same as good manners.
“No, it’s a radical attitude, one that tries to respect the dignity of others as well as my own. From insult to reconciliation, from envy to friendship—this is the example that Jesus gives us today.”