Pope Francis celebrated his daily Mass at St. Peter's Basilica, before 500 members of Italy's Parliament.
During his homily, he talked about corruption. In particular, the Pope explained how back in the time of Jesus, politicians lost touch with people by following their own ideology, which led them to power and corruption.
"So the heart of these people, of this little group, was so closed that it was impossible for them to hear the voice of God. From being sinners they spiraled down to corruption. It's so difficult for a corrupt person to turn back. Sinners can repent, because the Lord is merciful and He waits for all of us. But corrupt people are just centered about their own concerns. Just like corrupt people back then.”
The Pope then added that, especially during Lent, one must be open to the salvation that can only come from faith and God.
EXCEPRT OF THE POPE'S HOMILY
Source: Vatican Radio
"The hearts of this people, this group, with time became hardened so, so, so much - so that it was impossible to hear the voice of the Lord. And as sinners, they slid (downwards); they became corrupt. It 's very hard for a corrupt person to go back (on his tracks). The sinner, yes, because the Lord is merciful and awaits us all. But the corrupt person is fixated on his affairs, and these people were corrupt. And for this, they justify themselves, because Jesus, with his simplicity, but with his strength in God - he made trouble for them (it: dava loro fastidio). "
"They rejected the Lord’s love and this rejection put them on a path that was not the dialectic of freedom offered by the Lord, but that of the logic of necessity, where there is no room for the Lord. In the dialectic of freedom, there is the good Lord who loves us, who loves us very much! Rather, in the logic of necessity, there is no place for God: this must be done, this must be done, this must…They have become behavioral (it: comportamentali): well-mannered men, but with bad habits. Jesus calls them ‘whitewashed tombs’.”
"On this path of Lent it will do us well to think about this invitation from the Lord to love, about this dialectic of freedom where there is love, and to ask ourselves, all of us, …am I on this path? Do I risk justifying myself and take another path? A road with many junctions (it: strada congiunturale) because it does not lead to any promise ... And we pray that the Lord gives us the grace to always go down the path of salvation, to open ourselves to the salvation that only comes from God, through faith - not from what was proposed by these 'professionals of duty,' (it: dottori del dovere) who had lost the faith, and who led (it: reggevano) the people with this pastoral theology of duty.”