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FROM THE CHAPEL OF CASA SANTA MARTA
HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
"The process of temptation"
Saturday, April 4, 2020
In these moments of disturbance, of difficulty, of pain, many times people are given the opportunity to do one or the other thing, many good things. But even there is no lack of someone who comes up with the idea of doing something not so good, taking advantage of the moment and taking advantage of it for themselves, for their own profit. Let us pray today that the Lord give us all a righteous conscience, a transparent conscience, which can be seen by God without being ashamed.
It has been a long time since the doctors of the law, even the high priests, were worried because strange things were going on in the country. Before this John, who eventually left him alone because he was a prophet, baptized there and people went, but there were no other consequences.
Then this Jesus came, signaled by John. He began to make signs, miracles, but above all to speak to people and people understood, and people followed him, and he did not always observe the law and this worried so much. "This is a revolutionary, a peaceful revolutionary ... This brings people to him, people follow him ..." (cf. Jn 11: 47-48). And these ideas led them to talk to each other: "But look, I don't like this ... that other ...", and so among them there was this theme of conversation, of concern as well. Then some went to him to test him and the Lord always had a clear answer that to them, doctors of the law, had not come to mind. We think of that woman married seven times, widow seven times: "But in heaven, which of these husbands will she be married to?" (cf. Lk 20.33). He replied clearly and they went a little ashamed for the wisdom of Jesus and at other times they went humiliated, as when they wanted to stone that adulterous lady and Jesus said at the end: "Who of you is without sin throw the first stone "(cf. Jn 8,7) and says the Gospel that they left, beginning with the older ones, humiliated at that moment.
This increased this conversation between them: "We have to do something, this is wrong ...". Then they sent the soldiers to take him and they came back saying: "We could not take him because this man speaks like no one" ... "You too have been fooled" (cf. Jn. 7,45-49): angry because not even soldiers could take it. And then, after the resurrection of Lazarus - this we heard today - many Jews went there to see the sisters and Lazarus, but some went to see how things are going to bring them back, and some of them went to the Pharisees and reported to them what Jesus had done (cf. Jn 11.45). Others believed in Him. And these who are gone, the talkers of all time, who live carrying the chatter ... have gone to tell them. At this moment, that group that had formed lawyers had a formal meeting: “This is very dangerous, we have to make a decision. What are we going to do? This man performs many signs - they recognize miracles - If we let him continue like this, everyone will believe in him, there is danger, the people will go after him, they will detach themselves from us "- the people were not attached to them -" They will come the Romans and they will destroy our temple and our nation "(cf. Jn 11,48).
In this there was part of the truth but not all, it was a justification, because they had found a balance with the occupier, but they hated the Roman occupant, but politically they had found a balance. So they talked to each other. One of them, Caiaphas - he was the most radical - was high priest said: "Do not you realize that it is convenient for you that one man die for the people, and the whole nation will not be ruined!" (Jn. 11.50). He was the high priest and makes the proposal: "Let's take him out". And John says: "But this he did not say for himself, but, being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus had to die for the nation ... From that day therefore they decided to kill him" (cf. Jn 11,51-53 ). It was a trial, a trial that began with small anxieties in the time of John the Baptist and then ended in this session of lawyers and priests. A growing process, a process that was safer than the decision they had to make, but no one had said it so clear: "This must be done out." This way of proceeding for the doctors of the law is just a figure of how temptation works in us, because behind this evidently it was the devil who wanted to destroy Jesus and the temptation in us generally acts like this: it starts with a little thing, with a desire, an idea grows, infects others and ultimately justifies itself.
These are the three steps of the devil's temptation in us and here are the three steps that the devil's temptation made in the person of the lawyer. It began with little, but it has grown, it has grown, then it has infected the others, it has become a body and in the end it is justified: "It is necessary for one to die for the people" (cf. Jn 11.50), justification total. And everyone went home quietly. They said, "This is the decision we had to make." And all of us, when we are overcome by temptation, end up calm, because we have found a justification for this sin, for this sinful attitude, for this life not according to the law of God.
We should have the habit of seeing this process of temptation in us . That process that makes us change our hearts from good to bad, which takes us on the downhill road. Something that grows, grows, grows slowly, then infects others and ultimately justifies itself. The temptations of a blow hardly come to us, the devil is cunning. And she knows how to take this path, the same one has taken to arrive at the condemnation of Jesus. When we find ourselves in a sin, in a fall, yes, we must go to ask the Lord for forgiveness, it is the first step we must take, but then we have to say, "How did I come to fall there? How did this process start in my soul? How did you grow up? Who have I infected? And how in the end did I justify myself for falling? ”. The life of Jesus is always an example for us and the things that have happened to Jesus are things that will happen to us, the temptations, the justifications, the good people who are around us and perhaps we do not feel it and the bad ones, at the moment of temptation, let's try to get closer to them to make temptation. But let's never forget: always, behind a sin, behind a fall, there is a temptation that started small, that has grown, that has infected and in the end I find a justification for falling. The Holy Spirit enlightens us in this inner knowledge.
People who cannot communicate will now make spiritual communion.
My Jesus, I believe that you are truly present in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar. I love you above all and desire you in my soul. Since I cannot receive you sacramentally now, at least spiritually come to my heart. As already came, I embrace you and I join you all. Don't let it ever separate me from you. Amen.
FULL TEXT + Image Source: Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation