“Jesus teaches us two things: truth and understanding”, two elements “enlightened theologians” fail to convey, because they are closed in the trap of the “mathematical equation.” Enunciating a truth of God must never dissociate from understanding of sin. This is what Pope Francis emphasizes during the homily of the morning Mass at St. Martha’s House. He has commented the Gospel passage in which Jesus talks with the Pharisees about adultery. Bergoglio reminds that Christ “exceeds” the human conception that would reduce “the vision of God to a equations of casuistry”.
The gospel “is full of traps”, those in which the Pharisees and the lawyers are trying to make Jesus fall, “to catch Him by surprise” and undermine His authority and “the credit He enjoys among the people”. One of the many is when the Pharisees ask whether it is permissible to divorce one’s wife. The Pope defines it as the “trap of cases”, devised by a “small group of enlightened theologians,” who believe “they have all the knowledge and wisdom of God’s people.” A deception Jesus avoids going “beyond”, stressing the “fullness of marriage.” In the past, he had already done so with the Sadducees, the Pope reminds us, about the woman who had had seven husbands, but who, during resurrection, Jesus asserts, will not be married to anyone because in heaven you do not take “a wife or husband.”
However, in that case Christ, Bergoglio points out, he meant the “eschatological fullness” of marriage. With the Pharisees, on the other hand, “it goes to the fullness of the harmony of creation,” to quote the Genesis: “God made them male and female, the two shall become one flesh”. “They are no longer two, but one flesh.” Therefore “no man put asunder what God has joined together.” Jesus responds with the “overwhelming and blunt” truth. “And Jesus – the Pope goes on to say – never negotiates the truth. And these, the small group of enlightened theologians, have always negotiated the truth, reducing it to casuistry. And Jesus does not negotiate the truth. And this is the truth about marriage, there are no others.”
Christ is so merciful that “He never (the Pope repeats this last term three times) closes His door to sinners.” He does not simply enunciate the truth of God, but also asks the Pharisees what Moses has established in the law. Their answer is that, against adultery, it is permissible to write “an act of repudiation.” Christ replied that the rule was written “for your hardness of heart”, because Jesus always distinguishes between the truth and “human weakness”, bluntly. In today’s world, where we live with the “culture of provisional things, this situation of sin is so strong. However, Jesus, remembering Moses, tells us that sin exists, but there is something we can do: forgiveness, understanding, accompaniment, integration, and discernment of these cases. But the truth can never be sold!'”. It is amazing how “Jesus is able to tell this great truth” and be “understanding with the sinners, with the weak” at the same time.
These are the “two things Jesus teaches us: truth and understanding”, features that the “enlightened theologians” cannot have, because they are closed in the trap of “mathematical equation” of “Can you? Can you not?” They “are incapable of wide horizons and love” of human weakness. “Just look – Francis said -, at the delicacy with which Jesus is the adulterous woman about to be stoned: ‘I do not condemn you either; go, and from now on sin no more.'” The final prayer is an invocation to the Holy Spirit: “May Jesus teach us to stick to truth and understanding, accompanying all our brothers who are in trouble. This is a gift the Holy Spirit teaches us, not the enlightened scribes who need to reduce the fullness of God to an equation casuistry in order to teach us. May the Lord grant us this grace.”