In his Friday morning Mass, the Pope reflected on living the Christian faith coherently in public and private. He said that sometimes, Christians separate faith from justice. He set the example of a Christian who may donate money to the Church, but then pays his employees poorly.
"But at home, within your own Church, are you generous and are you fair with those who depend on you? Be they your children, your grandparents or your employees? You cannot give a donation to the Church that comes from the shoulders of an injustice you practice against those who depend on you. This is a very serious sin. Using God as a shield to cover an injustice.”
Pope Francis called on Christians to help those in needy, especially during Lent.
SUMMARY OF POPE'S HOMILY:
(Source: Vatican Radio)
"Pope Francis used his homily to reflect on how Christians, especially during Lent, should not confine themselves to outside signs of piety like fasting and charity and instead must reach out to those in need.
He said Jesus wants from us a fasting that breaks the evil chains, frees those who are oppressed, clothes those who are naked and carries out justice. This, he explained, is a true fasting, a fasting which is not a just an outward appearance or observance but a fasting which comes from the heart.
Love of God and neighbour are one and the same
"And in the tablets of the law, there’s the law towards God and the law towards our neighbour and both of these go together. I can’t say: ‘But no, I follow the three commandments first and the others more or less.’ No, if you don’t follow one, you can’t follow the other and if you follow one you must follow the other. They are united: Love of God and love of our neighbour is one and the same thing and if you want to show genuine and not just formal penance, you must show it before God and also towards your brothers and towards your neighbour.”
Grave sin to use God as a cover for injustice
Pope Francis highlighted the example of somebody who goes to Mass every Sunday and receives communion but then asked: does that person pay his or her employees in cash under the table, maybe a salary below the going rate and without making the necessary social security contributions?
"So many men and women of faith, have faith but then divide the tablets of the laws. ‘Yes, I do this’ – ‘But do you practice charity?’ – Yes of course, I always send a cheque to the Church’ – ‘Ok, that’s good. But at your home, within your own Church, are you generous and are you fair with those who are your dependents - be they your children, your grandparents, your employees?’ You cannot make offerings to the Church on the shoulders of the injustice that you practice towards your dependents. This is a very serious sin: using God as a cover for injustice.”