If “the Word of God does not enter” in the heart, “there is no place for love and, in the end, there is no place for freedom,” said Pope Francis in his homily delivered at mass on Tuesday, October 17, 2017, in the chapel of Santa Marta in the Vatican, reported Radio Vatican in Italian.
He warned against the “fools” who transform the Word into “idolatry” and “ideology” and confess that there are “foolish Christians and even foolish pastors.”
The pope warned those who are unable to “listen” to the Word of God: “Stupidity is not to listen,” he said. “The inability to listen to the Word” is “when the Word does not enter, I do not let it in because I do not listen,” the Pope explained, “The fool does not listen. He thinks he is listening, but he does not listen. He always does. And for this reason, the Word of God cannot enter the heart, and there is no place for love. And if it enters, it enters distilled, transformed by my conception of reality. ”
The word “foolish” appears twice in the liturgy of today. Christ says it to the Pharisees (Luke 11: 37-41), while St. Paul refers to the Gentiles (Rom 1: 16-25), but also to the Galatians: therefore to Christians who were deceived by “new ideas “. This word, said the pope, is “more than a condemnation, it is a signal.”
“The fools do not know how to listen,” said the Pope. And this deafness leads them to this corruption “,” these three groups of fools are corrupt “.
The Pharisees have become corrupt because they only care about “outside things,” but not from within where corruption exists. They are, therefore, “corrupted by vanity, by appearance, by external beauty, by external justice,” said the pope.
The Gentiles are corrupt because they have exchanged the glory of God for the idols. And there are also idolatries today, like consumerism, noted the pope.
Finally, Christians have allowed themselves to be corrupted by ideologies: they have ceased to be Christians to “become ideologues of Christianity.”
All these three groups “end up in corruption,” said the pope, and become slaves because they exchange “the truth of God with lies.”
“They are not free and do not listen,” he emphasized, “this deafness leaves no room for love and freedom: it always leads us to slavery.”
The pope proposed an examination of conscience on these points: “Do I listen to the Word of God?” This Word is “living, effective, grateful to the feelings and thoughts of the heart.”
“Do I let this Word enter,” continued the Pope, “or do I remain deaf?” Or I transform it into appearance, transform it into idolatry, idolatrous habits, transform it into ideology? And it does not enter … That is the stupidity of Christians. ”
In conclusion, the Pope affirms that “there are foolish Christians and even senseless pastors”. “Saint Augustine,” he said, “beat them very well, because the stupidity of the pastors hurts the flock.”
The pope referred to the “stupidity of the corrupt pastor”, “the stupidity of the self-satisfied pastor, pagan” and the “stupidity of the ideological pastor.” “We look at the icon of foolish Christians,” said the Pope, “and beside this stupidity we look at the Lord who is always at the door” and who is nostalgic “of the first love he had with us”.
“And if we fall into this stupidity, we move away from him and he feels this nostalgia,” said the pope. Nostalgia for us. And Jesus, with this nostalgia, wept, “as he had wept over Jerusalem: it was the nostalgia of a people whom he had chosen, whom he loved, but who had gone by stupidity, who preferred appearances, idols or ideologies.”