Sunday, September 15, 2013

Pope At Angelus: "Who Are We to Judge?"

As the kicker of today's Angelus seems to have made a Francis-sized dent out there, here's a house translation of the core of the Pope's Window Talk – delivered before yet another overflowing Square, even in a soaking rain, and dedicated per usual to this Sunday's lengthy Gospel containing "the three great parables of mercy": the Lost Sheep, the Lost Money, and the Prodigal Son....
Jesus is all mercy, Jesus is all love: he is God made man. Each of us, each of us, is that lost sheep, that lost money; each of us is that son who wasted his own freedom following false idols, illusions of happiness, and lost everything. But God doesn't forget us, the Father never abandons us. He's a patient father who always awaits us! He respects our freedom, but remains ever faithful. And when we return to him, he welcomes us as his own, into his house, because [even if we leave him] he never leaves us, not for a moment, but waits for us with love. And his heart rejoices for each son and daughter who returns. He celebrates because he is joy. God has this joy when one of us sinners goes to him and asks his forgiveness.

What is the danger, then? That we presume ourselves of being just, and judging others. We even judge God, because we think that we should castigate sinners and condemn them to death instead of forgiving. Then we risk remaining outside the Father's house! Like that older brother of the parable, who instead of being happy that his brother returned, was angered with his father who welcomed and celebrated him. If in our heart there isn't mercy, the joy of forgiving, we are not in communion with God, even if we observe all the precepts, because it's love that saves us, not the bare practice of precepts. It's the love for God and neighbor that gives completion to all the commandments. And this is the love of God, his joy: forgiveness. It awaits us always! Maybe each of us has something we carry around in our heart: "But I did this, I did that...." – He waits for you! He's a father: he always waits for you!

If we love according to the law "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth," we'll never leave behind the spiral of evil. The Evil One is clever, and he deludes us that with our human justice we can save ourselves and save the world. In reality, only the justice of God can save us! And the justice of God revealed itself on the Cross: the Cross is the judgment of God on all of us and this world. But how does God judge us? By giving his life for us! Here is the supreme act of justice that ... once and for all the prince of this world; and this supreme act of justice is likewise the supreme act of mercy. Jesus calls all of us to follow this way: "Be merciful as your Father is merciful" (Lk 6:36).

I'm going to ask something of you now. In silence, all of us, let us think... let each one of us think of a person who we don't get along with, who we're angry with, who we don't love. Let us think of that person and, in silence, right now, let us pray for this person and that we might become merciful with them. [Silent pause – 15 seconds]

So now, let us invoke the intercession of Mary, Mother of Mercy – Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariae....