We must choose the path of “hope”, which allows to look beyond problems and avoid “clerical rigidity”. This is the invitation Pope Francis has pronounced during the customary morning Mass at St. Martha’s House. According to the Vatican Radio, Bergoglio has said that in the Gospel there are leaders of priests who ask Jesus by what authority He acts: “They do not have horizons, they are men closed in their calculations”, “slaves of their own rigidity”. And human calculations “close our hearts, they close freedom”, whereas hope makes us light”.
“How beautiful freedom, generosity, and hope are for a man and a woman of the Church – he has reflected! – And how bad and harmful the rigidity of a woman and that of a man of the Church is, as well as clerical stiffness which has no hope! During this Year of Mercy, there will be the following two paths: one that has hope in the mercy of God, to know that God is the Father; God always forgives everything; beyond the desert, there is the embrace of the Father, forgiveness. And, also, there are those who take refuge in their slavery, their rigidity, and they know nothing about God’s mercy.
Those people were doctors, they had studied, but their science has not saved them”. In the face of those two people “the free one, hope, the one who brings you the mercy of God, and the closed one, the legalistic, the selfish, the slave of his rigidity, let us remember the lesson I received from a Portuguese elderly woman of 80: God forgives everyone, He only expects for us to get closer”.
Hope, he has continued, “is this Christian virtue we have as a great gift from the Lord, which makes us see far beyond problems, troubles, and difficulties, as well as beyond our sins”. It makes us “see the beauty of God”. “When I find myself with a person who has this virtue of hope and is going through a troublesome moment of his/her life – illness, concern about a son or a daughter or someone of their family, or any other thing – but has this virtue, in the middle of pain, (s)he has the penetrating eye, has the freedom to see beyond, always beyond. And this is hope. And this is the prophecy the Church gives us today: it wants men and women of hope, even in the midst of problems. Hope opens horizons, hope is free, it is not a slave, it always finds a place to arrange a situation”.