Where there is God there is no hatred, envy or jealousy, and there is no gossip that can kill, Pope Francis said Monday in a homily as he celebrated Mass in the Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican after the summer break.
Francis first reflected on the liturgical reading, which tells of the meeting between Jesus and the people of Nazareth as recounted by the Gospel according to Luke, according to a Vatican radio report.
Francis noted that the people of Nazareth with whom he had grown up, admired Jesus, but at the same time expected great things from him: “they wanted a miracle” to be able to believe in Him. And when Jesus told them they were without faith, they were filled with fury, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill to hurl him down headlong”.
Francis reflected on the reading pointing out that a situation, which had started off with admiration was to end with a crime: they wanted to kill Jesus. Because of jealousy and envy. This – he said – is not just something that happened two thousand years ago: “this kind of thing happens every day in our hearts, in our communities”. And he made the example of when somebody new enters a community, on the first day – he said - people speak well of him; on the second not so well; and from the third on gossip and badmouthing starts to spread and end up skinning him”.
Francis elaborated on the concept, the Vatican radio report quoting Francis as saying, as he cited scripture: “He who hates his brother is a murderer”. We are used to gossip – he continued – “but how many times our communities, even our families have become a hell in which we criminally kill our brother with words”.
This week, we celebrate the first anniversary of the launch of our podcast, NCR in Conversation. Catch the latest episode here.
A community, a family – Francis continued – can be destroyed by envy that sows evil in the heart and causes one to speak badly of the other”.
“So that there is peace in a community, in a family, in a country, in the world, we must be with the Lord. And where the Lord is, there is no envy, there is no criminality, there is no hatred, and there are no jealousies. There is brotherhood. Let this be our prayer to the Lord: never kill your neighbor with words”.
Just $5 a month supports NCR's independent Catholic journalism.
We are committed to keeping our online journalism open and available to as many readers as possible. To do that, we need your help. Join NCR Forward, our new membership program.
Looking for comments?
We've suspended comments on NCRonline.org for a while. If you missed that announcement, learn more about our decision here.