Catechesis of the Holy Father in Italian
This morning's General Audience took place at 9.30 in Piazza San Pietro, where the Holy Father Francis met groups of pilgrims and faithful from Italy and from all over the world.
In his speech in Italian, the Pope, continuing the cycle of catechesis on the Commandments, focused his meditation on: "Do not kill" according to Jesus (Biblical track: from the Gospel according to Matthew, 5: 21-24).
After having summarized His catechesis in several languages, the Holy Father addressed particular expressions of greeting to the groups of faithful present.
The General Audience ended with the singing of the Pater Noster and the Apostolic Blessing.
Catechesis of the Holy Father in Italian
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
Today I would like to continue the catechesis on the Fifth Word of the Decalogue, "Do not kill". We have already underlined how this commandment reveals that in the eyes of God human life is precious, sacred and inviolable. Nobody can despise the life of others or their own; in fact, man carries within himself the image of God and is the object of his infinite love, whatever the condition in which he was called into existence.
In the passage of the Gospel that we have just heard, Jesus reveals to us an even more profound sense of this commandment. He states that, before God's court, even anger against a brother is a form of murder. This is why the Apostle John wrote: "Whoever hates his brother is a murderer" (1 Jn 3:15). But Jesus does not stop at this, and in the same logic he adds that insult and contempt can also kill. And we are used to insulting, it's true. And there's an insult like a breath. And Jesus tells us: "Stop, because the insult hurts, kills". The contempt. "But I ... these people, I despise him". And this is a form to kill the dignity of a person. It would be nice if this teaching of Jesus entered the mind and the heart, and each of us would say: "I will never insult anyone". It would be a beautiful purpose, because Jesus tells us: "Look, if you despise, if you insult, if you hate, this is murder".
No human code equates such different acts by assigning them the same degree of judgment. And coherently Jesus even invites us to interrupt the offering of the sacrifice in the temple if we remember that a brother is offended against us, to go and look for him and reconcile with him. We too, when we go to Mass, should have this attitude of reconciliation with the people we have had problems with. Even if we thought bad about them, we insulted them. But many times, while we wait for the priest to say Mass, we talk a bit and talk badly about the others. But this can not be done. Think of the gravity of the insult, of contempt, of hatred: Jesus puts them on the line of killing.
What does Jesus mean by extending the field of the Fifth Word to this point? Man has a noble, very sensitive life, and possesses a hidden self no less important than his physical being. In fact, to offend the innocence of a child is enough an inappropriate sentence. A gesture of coldness is enough to hurt a woman. To break the heart of a young person is enough to deny him trust. To annihilate a man, just ignore it. Indifference kills. It is like saying to the other person: "You are a dead man for me", because you killed him in your heart. Not to love is the first step to kill; and not to kill is the first step to love.
In the Bible, at the beginning, we read that terrible phrase that came out of the mouth of the first murderer, Cain, after the Lord asked him where his brother is. Cain replies: "I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper? "(Gen 4,9).  So the killers speak: "it does not concern me", "they are yours", and similar things. Let's try to answer this question: are we the guardians of our brothers? Yes, we are! We are custodians of each other! And this is the path of life, it is the path of non-killing.
Human life needs love. And what is authentic love? It is what Christ showed us, that is, mercy. The love we can not do without is the one that forgives, which welcomes those who have harmed us. None of us can survive without mercy, we all need forgiveness. So, if killing means destroying, suppressing, eliminating someone, then not killing will mean curing, valuing, including. And also forgive.