St. Peter's Square
Wednesday, 12 September 2018
Catechesis on the Commandments: 8. The day of rest, prophecy of liberation
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
In today's catechesis we come back again to the third commandment, the one on the remembrance day. The Decalogue, promulgated in the book of Exodus, is repeated in the book of Deuteronomy almost identically, except for this Third Word, where a precious difference appears: while in Exodus the motive of rest is the blessing of creation, in Deuteronomy instead, it commemorates the end of slavery. On this day the slave must rest as the master, to celebrate the memory of the Easter of liberation.
Slaves, in fact, by definition can not rest. But there are many types of slavery, both exterior and interior. There are external constraints such as oppression, lives seized by violence and other types of injustice. Then there are the inner prisoners, which are, for example, psychological blocks, complexes, character limits and more. Is there any rest in these conditions? Can a man imprisoned or oppressed remain free? And can a person tormented by inner difficulties be free?
In fact, there are people who, even in prison, live a great freedom of mind. Think, for example, of St. Maximilian Kolbe, or Cardinal Van Thuan, who turned dark oppressions into places of light. As well as there are people marked by great inner fragility but know the rest of mercy and know how to transmit. The mercy of God liberates us. And when you meet God's mercy, you have a great inner freedom and you are also able to transmit it. This is why it is so important to open ourselves to God's mercy so as not to be slaves to ourselves.
What then is true freedom? Does it consist in freedom of choice? Certainly this is a part of freedom, and we commit ourselves to ensure it is guaranteed to every man and woman (cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, 73). But we know that being able to do what you want is not enough to be truly free, and not even happy. True freedom is much more.
In fact, there is a slavery that binds more than a prison, more than a panic crisis, more than an imposition of any kind: it is the slavery of one's ego.  Those people who look at themselves all day to see the ego. And your ego is taller than your body. They are slaves of the ego. The ego can become a torturer who tortures man wherever he is and gives him the most profound oppression, what is called "sin", which is not a trivial violation of a code, but a failure of existence and condition of slaves (cf. Jn 8,34).  Sin is, in the end, saying and doing ego. "I want to do this and I do not care if there is a limit, if there is a commandment, I do not even care if there is love".
Ego, for example, we think in human passion: the greedy, the lustful, the greedy, the angry, the envious, the slothful, the proud - and so on - are slaves of their vices, who tyrannize them. and torment them. There is no respite for the greedy, because the throat is the hypocrisy of the stomach, which is full but makes us believe it is empty. The hypocritical stomach makes us greedy. We are slaves to a hypocritical stomach. There is no respite for the greedy and lustful who must live with pleasure; the anxiety of possession destroys the miser, they always pile up money, hurting others; the fire of anger and the worm of envy ruin relationships. The writers say that envy makes the body and the soul come yellow, like when a person has hepatitis: it becomes yellow. The envious ones have yellow soul, because they can never have the freshness of the health of the soul. Envy destroys. The sloth that avoids any effort makes it incapable of living; self-centeredness - that ego of which I spoke - proudly digs a ditch between oneself and others.
Dear brothers and sisters, who is therefore the true slave? Who is he who knows no rest? Who is not able to love! And all these vices, these sins, this selfishness turn us away from love and make us unable to love. We are slaves of ourselves and we can not love, because love is always towards others.
The third commandment, which invites us to celebrate liberation in rest, for us Christians is the prophecy of the Lord Jesus, who breaks the interior slavery of sin to make man capable of loving. True love is true freedom: detaches from possession, reconstructs relationships, knows how to welcome and value others, transforms every effort into a joyful gift and makes it capable of communion. Love also makes you free in prison, even if weak and limited.
This is the freedom we receive from our Redeemer, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Je salue cordialement les pèlerins de langue française, venus de France, de Belgique et d’autres pays, en particulier les jeunes ruraux belges. Chers amis, demandez avec foi au Seigneur de vous aider à devenir libres face à tous les esclavages de la vie, en vous rendant capables d’aimer toujours plus. Que Dieu vous bénisse !
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially those from England, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Nigeria, Australia, Malaysia, Canada and the United States of America. In particular I greet the International Young Catholic Students meeting in Rome in preparation for the forthcoming Synod on Young People. I also greet the journalists and teachers taking part in a seminar organized by the Pontifical University of Santa Croce. I welcome too the members of the Green Affordable Housing Project from the United States. Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke the Lord’s blessings of joy and peace. God bless you!
Von Herzen grüße ich die Pilger deutscher Sprache, besonders die vielen Jugendlichen. Ich hoffe, dass euer Aufenthalt in Rom euch ein wenig innere Ruhe schenkt, und ihr, wenn ihr nach Hause zurückkehrt, die täglichen Aufgaben in der Familie, in der Schule und im Beruf mit immer mehr Hingabe vollbringt. Der Herr segne euch und eure Lieben.
Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española provenientes de España y América Latina, y en particular al grupo de sacerdotes venezolanos, acompañados por el Cardenal Baltazar Porras. Y aprovecho para agradecer a quienes, en Venezuela, sean sacerdotes, religiosos o laicos, se dedican al trabajo de la educación, a los educadores venezolanos. Hoy celebramos la fiesta del Santísimo Nombre de María. Pidámosle a nuestra Madre del Cielo que nos ayude a vivir el descanso dominical como un tiempo privilegiado de encuentro con el Señor y con los demás, dejando que el amor de Jesús nos libere de todas nuestras esclavitudes. Que el Señor los bendiga a todos. Muchas gracias.
Queridos peregrinos vindos de Portugal, do Brasil e de outros países de língua portuguesa, de coração lhes desejo as boas-vindas, particularmente aos fiéis de Tomar, Pernes e ao grupo de Magistrados brasileiros. Vivamos a Eucaristia dominical com espírito de fé e de oração, sabendo que a carne de Jesus nos fortalece na verdadeira liberdade dos filhos de Deus. Sobre vós e sobre vossas comunidades, desça a benção do Senhor
أُرحّبُ بالحجّاجِ الناطقينَ باللّغةِ العربيّة، وخاصةً بالقادمينَ من الشرق الأوسط. أيّها الإخوةُ والأخواتُ الأعزّاء، "إنَّ المسيحَ قد حَرَّرَنا لنبقى أحرارًا" (غلاطية ٥، ١). نحن مدعوون لنجد فيه على الدوام راحة الرحمة والحقيقة اللتان تحُرِّرَانَنا. ليبارككم الرب!
Pozdrawiam serdecznie pielgrzymów polskich. Dzisiaj w liturgii obchodzimy wspomnienie Najświętszego Imienia Maryi. Tak wiele ludzkich losów, nadziei i łez splatało się z Jej imieniem w historii świata. Także dzisiaj, łączy Ona w modlitwie miliony serc, które oddają Jej hołd, błagają o wstawiennictwo, pomoc i ratunek. Matka Boża w niebezpieczeństwach zawsze broni wiary i Kościoła. Oddając cześć Imieniu Maryi, dziękujmy za Jej obecność w życiu Kościoła i każdego z nas. Zawierzając was Matce Bożej, z serca wam błogosławię.
[Saluto cordialmente i pellegrini Polacchi. Oggi nella liturgia celebriamo la memoria del Santissimo Nome di Maria. Nella storia del mondo le sorti, le speranze e le lacrime di tantissime persone si sono intrecciate con il Suo nome. Anche oggi Lei unisce nella preghiera i milioni di cuori che Le rendono omaggio, implorano la sua intercessione, il suo aiuto e il suo soccorso. La Madonna difende la fede e la Chiesa nei pericoli. Venerando il nome di Maria, rendiamo grazie per la sua presenza nella vita della Chiesa e di ognuno di noi. Affidandovi alla Madre di Dio vi benedico di cuore.]
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I extend a cordial welcome to Italian-speaking pilgrims.
In particular I greet the Franciscans of the Immaculate Conception; the Servants of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the parish groups, especially those of San Siro in Sanremo, with Bishop Mons. Antonio Suetta, of Santa Lucia in Uzzano and of the Saints Giacomo and Filippo in Merone.
I greet the participants in the National Meeting of journalists accompanied by Bishop Mons. Carlo Bresciani; the Italian Dog Sports Federation; the ACLI group of the Province of Brescia, the Federation of Third Age Associations and the Medical Oncology Association.
A particular thought I address to the young, the elderly, the sick and the newlyweds. To newlyweds I say that they are the brave, because in this time it takes courage to get married. And they are good for this. Today there is the liturgical memorial of the Most Holy Name of Mary. All of us Christians are invited to grasp in the name of Mary, the great project that God had on this supreme creature, and, at the same time, the response of love that, as a Mother, gave to his Son Jesus, collaborating, without saving , to his work of salvation.
 Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1733: "The choice of disobedience and evil is an abuse of freedom and leads to the slavery of sin".
 Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1739: "Man's freedom is finite and fallible. In fact, the man was wrong. Freely has sinned. By refusing God's plan of love, he has deceived himself; he has become a slave to sin. This first alienation has generated many others. The history of humanity, starting from its origins, bears witness to the misfortunes and oppressions born of the heart of man, as a result of the misuse of freedom ".