n his homily at Mass on Tuesday,
Pope Francis says that Jesus does
not tolerate hypocrisy. “We must
be cured of hypocrisy,” he said,
“and the medicine is knowing
how to point the finger at ourselves be-
fore God”, since whoever is unable to do
so is “not a good Christian”.
One way to another
In the Gospel reading, Jesus is invited
to lunch by a Pharisee and is highly criti-
cised by the master of the house because
he does not perform ritual ablution be-
fore sitting at the table to eat.
Pope Francis explains that this behav-
ior is not tolerated and is hypocritical
because the Pharisees invited Jesus to
lunch “to judge him, not to befriend
him”. This is exactly what hypocrisy is,
he says, “appearing one way but acting
Jesus often calls hypocritical Pharisees
“whitened sepulchers”. This is not an in-
sult, says the Pope, “it is the truth”. He
goes on to explain that “a hypocritical at-
titude stems from the great liar, the dev-
il”. The Pope says the devil is the “great
hypocrite”, adding that all other hypo-
crites are his “heirs”.
Jesus, continues the Pope, likes to “un-
mask” hypocrites who use the devil’s
language, as he knows that this is the at-
titude that will lead to his death.
Pope Francis goes on to say that any-
one who may think “this form of hypoc-
risy does not exist” is mistaken. Though
it is not “normal”, he says, it is “common”
to “appear in one way but be another”.
An example of this, says the Pope, is in
the fight for power. Jealousy makes you
act in a certain way, with poison within,
poison to kill, he says, because hypocrisy
Open up to the Lord
The cure for this hypocrisy, continues
the Pope, is in learning to “point the fin-
ger at ourselves. We must open up before
God and release what we have inside us.
This spiritual exercise, he says, is not
common, “but we must try to do it”. We
must see the hypocrisy and evil that we
have in our heart, because the devil does
sow evil. But whoever is unable to point
the finger at themselves, is “not a good
Christian”, he says.
Concluding his homily, Pope Francis
recalls Peter’s prayer in which he tells the
Lord “Depart from me, for I am a sinful
man, O Lord”, reminding the faithful of
the importance of acknowledging our