Reflecting on Sunday's Gospel reading, Pope Francis highlighted that strictly following the laws of God, doesn't make people better Christians.
"Just like back then for the Pharisees, there is also for us the danger of considering that all is well with us or that we’re better than the others because of the simple fact of observing certain rules or customs, even though we don’t love our neighbor, are hard of heart and proud.”
The Pope said, it's an attitude that unfortunately is sometimes seen in parishes and ecclesial groups.
"We all know, from our communities, parishes and neighborhoods, the bad brought to the Church and the scandal caused by those people who call themselves very Catholic, who frequently go to church, but then, in their daily lives, don’t take care of their families, speak ill of others, etc. This is what Jesus condemns because this is a Christian anti-testimony.”
An inner conversion, said the Pope is needed first, to liberate the heart from hypocrisy.
"Let us ask the Lord, through the intercession of Our Lady, to give us a pure heart, free of all hypocrisy.”
Without a pure heart, he added, it's impossible to to sincerely carry out the Gospel with love, mercy and forgiveness.