Tuesday 16 February 2016
He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit – Titus 3:5
What makes people hypocrites? They disguise themselves as good people: they make themselves up [to look] like little holy cards, looking up at heaven as they pray, making sure they are seen… they say, “I’m very Catholic, because my uncle was a great benefactor, my family is this, I’m that … I know this bishop, this cardinal, this priest…” they think they are better than others. This is hypocrisy. The Lord says, “No not that.” No one is justified by himself. We all need to be justified. And the only one who justifies us is Jesus Christ…”
Lent is to adjust life, to fix life, to change life, to draw closer to the Lord. The sign that we are far from the Lord is hypocrisy. The hypocrite does not need the Lord, he is saved by himself – so he thinks – and distinguishes himself as a saint. The sign that we are drawing closer to the Lord with repentance, asking for forgiveness, is that we care for needy brethren.
Homily, March 8th 2014 Pope Francis
In what ways do I justify myself?
My God, only with your grace can I live in sincerity and truth. Convert me from any tendency to hypocrisy and inspire me with genuine concern for the needs of other.
Reflection taken from Lent with Pope Francis (A Pauline publication)