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Pope Francis at Casa Santa Marta warned against distorting Bible's meaning


In his homily at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis explained how to interpret the Bible. He said its meaning should not be distorted for personal interests.

POPE FRANCIS
We often prefer our own interpretation of the Gospel and the Word of the Lord, to the Gospel and the Word of the Lord. However, when I am obstinate, and turn the Word of the Lord into an ideology, I am an idolater.

The pope said twisting the Bible to fit personal convictions is a betrayal of one's trust in God.

Spanish singer, Raphael, now 76 years old, was present at the Mass.

EXCERPTS FROM POPE'S HOMILY
(Source: Vatican News)

When Samuel goes to reject [Saul] on behalf of God, [Saul] tried to explain, “But look, there were cattle, there were so many good, fat animals, and with these I offered a sacrifice to the Lord.” He had not put anything in his own pocket, although others had. On the contrary, with this attitude of interpreting the Word of God as it seemed right to him, he allowed the others to put something of the plunder in their own pockets. The stages of corruption: it begins with a little disobedience, a lack of docility, and it keeps going further, further, further.

When you insist on doing things your own way in the face of the Lord’s will, you are an idolater, because you prefer what you think, that idol, to the will of the Lord. And for Saul, this disobedience cost him the kingdom. “Because you have rejected the Word of the Lord, the Lord has rejected you as king.”

This should make us think a little bit about our own docility. We often prefer our own interpretation of the Gospel […] for example, when we fall into casuistry, into moral casuistry… This is not the will of the Lord. The will of the Lord is clear; He makes it known with the commandments in the Bible, and makes it known with the Holy Spirit within your heart. However, when I am obstinate, and turn the Word of the Lord into an ideology, I am an idolater, I am not docile.

The newness of the Word of the Lord – because the Word of the Lord is always new, it always carries us onward – always wins. It is better than everything. It overcomes idolatry, it overcomes pride, and it overcomes this attitude of being too sure of ourselves, not through [commitment to] the Word of the Lord, but to the ideologies that I have built around the Word of the Lord. There is a very beautiful expression of Jesus that explains all this and that comes from God, taken from the Old Testament: “I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.”