“The door to meet Jesus is to recognize ourselves as we are, the truth. Sinners. Pope Francis stressed this during the morning mass at the Santa Marta in the Vatican on September 21, 2017. He reminded those who know doctrine well not to forget “the first commandment of love “.
In his homily quoted by Radio Vatican in Italian, the Pope meditated on the conversion of the apostle St. Matthew – celebrated today – with the scripture passage that is dear to him and commented on the famous painting of Matthew’s calling by Caravaggio: Matthew has “one eye on God” and the other “on money.” But Jesus “looked at him with so much love” that the resistance “falls”. “It is the struggle between mercy and sin”.
The Pope’s love – he heard his call to the priesthood on the evangelist’s feast day in 1953 – was able to enter his heart because he “knew he was sinner “, he knew “that he was not loved by anyone” and “his sinfulness opens the door to the mercy of Jesus”
Just as “the first condition to be saved” is to “feel in danger”, “the first condition to be healed” is to “feel sick, so feeling sinful is the first condition to receive this look of mercy “. “The door to meet Jesus is to recognize ourselves as we are, the truth. Sinners. ”
“Let us think in the eyes of Jesus, so beautiful, so good, so merciful,” encouraged the Pope. “And we too, when we pray, feel this look on us; it is the look of love, the look of mercy, the look that saves us. Do not be afraid. ”
“A scandal always begins with this sentence: ‘but how is it?’ The Pope remarked: ‘When you hear this sentence, it smells scorched.”
These Pharisees knew “doctrine” very well, they knew “better than everyone else how to do”, but “they had forgotten the first commandment of love.” They believed that salvation came from themselves: “No! Pope Francis insisted. It is God who saves. It is Jesus Christ who saves. ”
The Pope denounced “what is it” that we have so often heard among the Catholic faithful when they saw works of mercy. How are they? … There are many, many … they say: ‘No, it is not possible, everything is clear, no, no … they are sinners, we must remove them’. So many saints have also been persecuted or suspected. Let us think of Saint Joan of Arc, sent to the stake, because they thought she was a witch … think of Saint Teresa suspected of heresy.”
For the Pope, Jesus’ answer is clear: “Go and learn what it means: I want mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners. If you want to be called by Jesus, recognize yourself as a sinner. ”
It is a question of recognizing oneself as a sinner, not in the abstract but with “concrete sins,” he concluded: “each of us needs it.” “Let us look at Jesus with that merciful gaze full of love … It is so beautiful to meet Jesus!”