The Pontiff during Mass on Sunday, September 2 said that the Christians must listen to the scripture readings at Mass with an open heart. Pope Francis said that tis must be done so that the Word of God takes root in the hearts of the believers, which will cause them to bear much fruit.
During his homily, the Pontiff said: “Let’s do an examination of conscience to see how we welcome the Word of God. On Sunday we listen to it in the Mass. If we listen to it in a distracted or superficial way, it will not help us much. Instead, we must welcome the Word with open mind and heart, as a good ground, so that it is assimilated and bears fruit in concrete life.”
Pope Francis while talking before the Angelus, referred to the Scriptures when the Lord Jesus that the Word of God is like a grain of wheat: “it is a seed that must grow in concrete works. Thus the Word itself purifies our heart and our actions and our relationship with God and with others and it is freed from hypocrisy.”
In the day’s Gospel, Jesus addresses authenticity of obedience to the Word of God and hypocrisy, which he said, “is one of the strongest adjectives that Jesus uses in the Gospel.” He said that the said passage started with objections from the scribes and Pharisees who questioned Lord Jesus why His disciples did not follow the rituals. Jesus replied, saying, “This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts.”
He said that Jesus was telling the scribes and Pharisees that neglecting God’s commandments in order to observe human traditions is opposing God. He said that Lord invites all to “flee the danger of giving more importance to form than to substance.”
“He calls us to recognize, again and again, what is the true center of the experience of faith, that is, the love of God and love of neighbor, purifying it from the hypocrisy of legalism and ritualism,” he said.
“‘Do not let yourself be contaminated by this world’ does not mean isolating oneself and closing oneself to reality,” he said continuing, “No. Here too it should not be an external but interior attitude, of substance: it means to be vigilant so that our way of thinking and acting is not polluted by the worldly mentality, that is, by vanity, greed, pride.”