OUTWARD OBSERVANCE DOES NOT SUFFICE TO BE GOOD CHRISTIANS Pope's recommendation while commenting on ''a dispute between Jesus and some Pharisees and scribes''

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The Gospel “wants to warn us, today, against believing that the outward observance of the religious laws is enough to be good Christians”. Pope Francis affirmed it yesterday during the Angelus while commenting on “a dispute between Jesus and some Pharisees and scribes” with regard to “a series of teachings which clarified the indicationa of the Mosaic law” that the interlocutors of the Maestro “applied in a very attentive way and which they presented as an expression of genuine piety’. Therefore, they accuse Jesus and his disciples of transgressing them”.

“We all know – the Pope added – how much people who claim to be very catholic harm the Church, while neglecting in their daily life their families, badmouthing others and so on. This is what Jesus condemns because it is against Christian witnessing”. Bergoglio, before the Angelus ,explained that “not external thing make us be saints or non-saints, but the heart that expresses our intentions, our choices, and the desire to do everything for the love of God. The outward behaviour is the consequence of what we have decided in our hearts. The line that divides good from evil does not lie outside of us, but rather within us”.

“Therefore, he added, it is the heart that must be purified and converted. Without a purified heart, we do not have truly clean hands nor lips that pronounce words of sincere love, mercy, and forgiveness. This can be done only with a sincere and purified heart”. “Let us ask the Lord – he concluded – through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, to give us a pure heart, free from all hypocrisy, so as to make us able to live according to the spirit of the law and to reach its goal which is love”.

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