Christianity is not a “religion of talking”, made of empty words without concrete actions. Pope Francis has repeated it several times during the homily, commenting on the liturgy of the daily Mass celebrated at St Martha’s House. Christian life is concrete, as “God is real,” but there are so many Christians who only “pretend” to be such, people who transform the Church into a frieze with no duties instead of living it as an experience of service for the poorest. The Pope stresses the words pronounced by Jesus who in today’s Gospel of Matthew unmasks the hypocrisy of the scribes and of the Pharisees, calling his disciples and the crowds to practice what they teach, not to act the way they do because they “talk without doing anything.”
“The Lord teaches us the way of action. And how many times we find people – we too! – often even inside the Church: ‘Oh, I’m very Catholic!’. So, what do you do? How many parents say they are Catholic, but never have time to talk to their children, to play with their children, to listen to their children? Perhaps, their parents are in a nursing home, but they are always busy and have no time to visit them, leaving their parents alone. ‘But I am very Catholic! I belong to this association’. This is the religion of talking: I say I am so, but I do worldliness.”
The words of the prophet Isaiah, read during the first reading, indicate what God asks concretely from a faithful: “Cease to do evil deeds, learn to do good deeds”, “relieve the oppressed, make justice to the orphan, and defend the cause of the widow.” The Old Testament contains also the infinite mercy of God who tells humanity “Come on, come here, let us talk about it. Even if your sins are like scarlet, they will turn snow-white.”
“Talk without action” the Pope says, “is a deception.” “The mercy of the Lord goes towards those who dare to talk to Him, but talk about the truth, things I do or do not, in order to correct me. And this is the Lord’s great love, it dwells in this dialectic between talk and action. To be a Christian means to be a man of action: to do the will of God. On the last day – because all of us will have one! – what questions will we hear from the Lord? Will He say: “What did you say about me?” No! He will ask us about the things we did.”
At this point, the Pope mentions his beloved chapter from Matthew’s Gospel on the final judgment, when God will call man to account for what he has done for the hungry, thirsty, imprisoned, and strangers. “This is Christian life – Francis exclaims-. Whereas empty words lead to vanity and pretension to being Christian. You cannot be Christians that way.” “May the Lord give us wisdom to understand where the difference between saying and doing lies, teach us the way of action and help us walk along that way, because the way of talking brings us to the place where were these doctors of law, these clerics, who liked dressing up and be like a majesty, right? And this is not the truth of the Gospel! May the Lord teach us this path ” the Holy Father concluded.