MORNING CELEBRATION BROADCASTED LIVE
FROM THE SANTA MARTA CHAPEL
FROM THE SANTA MARTA CHAPEL
HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
"The little daily lynching of the chatter"
Tuesday, April 28, 2020
In this time, when we begin to have dispositions to get out of quarantine, we pray to the Lord to give his people, to all of us, the grace of prudence and obedience to the dispositions, so that the pandemic does not return.
In the first reading of these days we listened to the martyrdom of Stephen: a simple thing, as happened. The doctors of the Law did not tolerate the clarity of [his] doctrine, and, as soon as they were proclaimed, they went to ask someone who said they had heard that Stephen blasphemed against God, against the Law (cf. Acts 6 : 11-14). And after this, they fell upon him and stoned him: thus, simply (cf. Acts 7,57-58). It is a structure of action that is not the first: even with Jesus they did the same (cf Mt 26,60-62). The people, who were there [uncertain], tried to convince him that he was a blasphemer and they shouted: "Crucify him!" ( Mk15,13). It's a bestiality. A bestiality, starting from false testimonies to get to "do justice". This is the pattern. Even in the Bible there are such cases: Susanna did the same (cf. Dn 13.1 to 64), to Naboth did the same (cf. 1 Kings 21.1 to 16), then Haman tried to do the same with the people of God (cf. Est 3,1-14). False news, slanders that warm people and ask for justice. It's a lynching, a real lynching.
And so, they bring it to the judge, so that the judge gives this legal form: but he has already been tried; the judge must be very, very brave to go against a judgment "so popular", made on purpose, prepared. This is the case of Pilate: Pilate clearly saw that Jesus was innocent, but he saw the people, washed their hands (cf Mt27.24 to 26). It is a way of doing jurisprudence. Even today we see it, this: even today it is underway, in some countries, when you want to make a coup d'etat or "take out" some politician so that he does not go to the elections, you do this: false news, slander, then rely on a judge of those who like to create jurisprudence with this "situationist" positivism which is fashionable, and then condemns. It is a social lynching. And so was done to Stephen, so was the judgment of Stephen: they lead to judge one already judged by the deceived people.
This also happens with today's martyrs: judges have no chance of doing justice because they have already been judged. Think of Asia Bibi, for example, that we have seen: ten years in prison because she has been judged by a slander and a people who want her to die. Faced with this avalanche of false news that creates opinion, many times nothing can be done, nothing can be done.
In this I think a lot about the Shoah. The Shoah is such a case. The opinion was created against a people and then it was normal to say: "Yes, yes, they must be killed, they must be killed". A way of proceeding to "kill" people who are harassing, disturbing.
We all know that this is not good, but what we do not know is that there is a small daily lynching that tries to condemn people, to create a bad reputation on people, to discard them, to condemn them. The little daily lynching of the chatter that creates an opinion. Many times one hears someone's scream and says: "But no, this person is a right person!" - "No, no, it is said that ...", and with that "it is said that”You create an opinion to end it with a person. The truth is another: truth is the testimony of the truth, of the things a person believes; the truth is clear, it is transparent. Truth does not tolerate pressure. Let's look at Stephen, martyr: first martyr after Jesus. First martyr. Let us think of the apostles: all have witnessed. And we think of many martyrs, even of what we celebrate today, Saint Peter Chanel: it was the chatter that created [the opinion] that was against the king ... A fame is created, and he must be killed. And we think of us, of our language: many times we, with our comments, start such a lynching. And in our Christian institutions, we have seen so many daily lynchings that arose from chatter.
May the Lord help us to be fair in our judgments, not to begin or follow this massive condemnation that chatter causes.
Prayer to make spiritual communion:
People who cannot communicate now make spiritual communion
At your feet, O my Jesus, I bow down and offer you the repentance of my contrite heart that abysses itself in its nothingness and in your holy presence. I adore you in the sacrament of your love, the ineffable Eucharist. I wish to receive you in the poor abode that my heart offers you. In anticipation of the happiness of sacramental communion, I want to possess you in spirit. Come to me, my Jesus, that I come to you. May your love inflame my whole being for life and death. I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you.
Full Text + Image Source: Vatican.va Unofficial Translation -