Talk to the Lord

Pope Francis

10.03.20 Holy Mass Santa Marta (Domus Sanctae Marthae)

Tuesday of the 2nd Week of Lent - Lectionary Cycle II

Isaiah 1: 10, 16-20

Let us pray together for those who are sick, for medical personnel. For all people who are suffering from this epidemic. We pray to the Lord. Let us also pray to the Lord for our priests, so that they may have the courage to go out and go to the sick, bringing the strength of the Word of God and the Eucharist and accompanying the health workers, the volunteers, in this work they are doing.

Yesterday the Word of God taught us to recognize our sins and to confess them, but not only with our minds, but also with our hearts, with a spirit of shame; shame as a noble attitude before God for our sins. And today the Lord calls all of us sinners to dialogue with him, because sin locks us within ourselves, makes us hide ourselves or hide our truth within. This is what happened to Adam and Eve: after the sin they hid, because they were ashamed; they were naked. And the sinner, when he feels shame, then he is tempted to hide. And the Lord calls us: "Come on, come, let us discuss - says the Lord - let us talk about your sin, let us talk about your situation. Don't be afraid. No ...". He continues: "Even if your sins are like scarlet, they will turn snow-white. If they as red as crimson, they will become white as wool." "Come, because I am capable of changing everything," the Lord tells us, "do not be afraid to come and speak, be brave even with your miseries."

I am reminded of that saint who was so penitent, praying so much. And he was always trying to give the Lord everything the Lord asked of him. But the Lord was not pleased. And one day he was a little angry with the Lord, because he had a temper that saint. And he says to the Lord, "But, Lord, I don't understand you. I give you everything, everything and you are always unsatisfied, as if something is missing. What's missing?" And the Lord responds: "Give me your sins: this is what is missing." Have the courage to go with our miseries to speak with the Lord: "Come on, come! Discuss! Don't be afraid. Even if your sins are like scarlet, they will turn snow-white. If they are red as crimson, they will become white as wool."

This is the Lord's invitation. But it is always a bit deceptive: instead of going to talk to the Lord, we pretend not to be sinners. This is what the Lord reproaches to the doctors of the law. These people do the works to be admired by the people: they enlarge their philattèri and stretch their tassels; they want to take the places of honour at banquets, the front seats in synagogues, being greeted in the market squares, as well as having people call them rabbi. Appearance, vanity. To cover the truth of our hearts with vanity. Vanity never heals! Vanity never heals. Rather, it is poisonous, it goes on bringing the disease in your heart, bringing you that hardness of heart that tells you: "No, do not go to the Lord, do not go. Stay by yourself."

Vanity is precisely the place to close ourselves to the call of the Lord. Instead, the Lord's invitation is that of a father, of a brother: "Come! Let's talk, let's talk. In the end I am able to change your life from red to white."

May this Word of the Lord encourage us; our prayer is a real prayer. Our reality, our sins, our miseries. Talk to the Lord. He knows, He knows who we are. We know that, but vanity always invites us to cover it up. May the Lord help us.