“No one can say, ‘I’m right’ or ‘I’m not like him or her.’ I’m a sinner, I’d say it’s almost the first name we all have – sinners.” Pope Francis focused on man’s sinfulness and the need for remorse in his homily at Mass, Friday morning at the Casa Santa Marta residence in the Vatican. He was commenting on the first reading from Prophet Baruch who said, ”Justice is with the Lord, our God; and we today are flushed with shame.”
All are sinners
“Priests, king, leaders and fathers,” all of us are sinners, the Pope said citing Baruch. “ We are sinners because God has asked to do one thing and we have done the contrary. He has talked to parents, the family, the catechist, in the church, in the sermons, and he has spoken to us in our hearts.
The Pope explained that sin is a rebellion, an obstinacy that consists in giving into the “perverse inclinations of our heart” in “small idolatries of every day” such as cupidity, envy, hate, and especially slander, which he described as a “war of the heart destroying the other.” According to Baruch, it is because of sin that there are so many evils. Sin, the Pope said, ruins the heart, life and the soul by weakening and making it ill. Sin is always in relationship to God.
Shame opens the door to healing
Sin, the Pope further explained, is not like a stain that one gets rid of at the dry cleaner’s. It is an ugly rebellion against God who is all good. If one regards sin this way, then instead of getting into a depression if one has the great sentiment of shame, it is the grace of God, according to Baruch the Pope said. It is shame that “opens the door to healing”, the Holy Father said, and invited all to feel ashamed before the Lord for our sins and ask for healing. And when the almighty Lord sees us ashamed of what we have done, and we humbly ask pardon, He embraces and forgives us. The Pope urged all to be grateful to the Lord for manifesting His might in His mercy and forgiveness.