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Pope's Mass in Santa Marta: Don't just point out the sins of others. Recognize your own

2015-09-03

In his Thursday morning Mass, Pope Francis talked about having an encounter with Christ. The first step in this process, he said, is to recognize one's sins. 

Reflecting on the Gospel readings, he said it's easy to point out the faults of others, but not one's own sins. 

POPE  FRANCIS
"Even in our parishes, in our societies, even among consecrated people. How many people are capable of saying that Jesus is the Lord? So many! But how difficult it is to say sincerely: ‘I am a sinner.’ It’s easier to say it of others, right? When one is gossiping, right? ‘This, that and the other.' We’re all experts when it comes to that aren't we? To come to a true encounter with Christ the two-fold confession is necessary: ‘You are the Son of God, and I am a sinner’ – but not theoretically: ‘But, because of this, because of that and so on.”  

In order to have an encounter with the Lord, the Pope highlighted that first, a humble heart is a must. 

SUMMARY OF THE POPE'S HOMILY
(Source: Vatican Radio) 

The demons themselves, the Pope said, confessed – that is, they proclaimed – that Jesus was the "Son of God,” but like the doctors of the law and the wicked Pharisees, "they did not have the capacity for astonishment, they were closed up in their sufficiency, in their pride.” Peter recognized that Jesus is the Messiah, but confesses that he himself is a sinner:

"The demons arrive to tell the truth about Him, but say nothing about themselves. They cannot: their pride is so great it prevents them from saying it. The doctors of the law say: ‘But this is an intelligent man, a capable rabbi, he does miracles, eh!’ But they do not say: ‘We are proud, we are not sufficient, we are sinners. The inability to recognize ourselves as sinners keeps us far away from the true confession of Jesus Christ. And this is the difference.”

This ability to say that we are sinners opens us to the astonishment of the encounter with Jesus Christ, the true encounter. Even in our parishes, in our societies, even among consecrated persons: How many people are capable of saying that Jesus is the Lord? So many! But how difficult it is to say sincerely: ‘I am a sinner.’ It’s easier to say it of others, eh? When one is gossiping, eh? ‘This, that, the other thing…’ We’re all doctors in that, aren’t we? To come to a true encounter with Christ the two-fold confession is necessary: ‘You are the Son of God, and I am a sinner’ – but not theoretically: ‘[I am a sinner] because of this, because of this, because of this, and because of this.’”


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