In his Monday morning Mass, Pope Francis talked about hypocrisy. Reflecting on the today's Gospel reading, he talked about high priests who were more concerned with their set ways, than in seeking truth. As an example the Pope talked about his personal experience years ago, when rigid fasting was expected before Communion.
"I myself, as a young boy went to Confession, because I thought I had swallowed a drop of water before receiving Communion. That's how it was right? Pope Pius XII changed that...Some would say 'Oh no, it's heresy. No! He's changing the discipline of the Church.' So many Pharisees were scandalized, many...Because Pius XII did what Jesus did. He responded to the needs of the people. The discipline of the Church. Some Pharisees saw it as 'our discipline.' Rigid on the surface, but just like Jesus told them, 'rotting on the inside. Weak, weak to the point of going rotten.' Gloomy hearted.”
The Pope then reminded Christians that a good way to stay away from hypocrisy is to have a merciful heart.
SUMMARY OF HOMILY
(Source: Vatican Radio)
"This is the drama of the hypocrisy of this people. And Jesus never negotiates His heart of the Son of the Father, but He was so open to the people, seeking paths to help them. ‘But this can’t be done; our discipline, our doctrine say this can’t be done!’ they say. ‘Why do your disciples eat grain in the fields, when they travel, on the day of the Sabbath? It can’t be done!’ They were so rigid in their discipline: ‘No, the discipline can’t be touched, it’s sacred.’”
"But some of you might remember. You couldn’t even drink a drop of water. Not even that! And to brush your teeth, it had to be done in such a way that you didn’t swallow the water. But I myself as a young boy went to confession for having made the Communion, because I thought a drop of water had gone in. Is it true or no? It’s true.
"Even our life can become like that, even our life. And sometimes, I confess something to you, when I have seen a Christian, a Christian of that kind, with a weak heart, not firm, not fixed on the rock—Jesus – and with such rigidness on the outside, I ask the Lord: ‘But Lord, throw a banana peel in front of them, so that they will take a good fall, and feel shame that they are sinners, and so encounter You, [and realize] that You are the Saviour. Many times a sin will make us feel shame, and make us encounter the Lord, Who pardons us, as the sick who were there and went to the Lord for healing.”