Loading
Gossip is poisonous, insists Pope
Pope Francis greets pilgrims in St. Peter's Square during the Wednesday general audience on Dec. 4, 2013. Credit: Kyle Burkhart / CNA.
Pope Francis greets pilgrims in St. Peter's Square during the Wednesday general audience on Dec. 4, 2013. Credit: Kyle Burkhart / CNA.
By Kerri Lenartowick
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Pope Francis’ Sunday Angelus message emphasized the importance of avoiding all forms of slander in living a Christian life.

“It’s so rotten, gossip. At the beginning, it seems to be something enjoyable and fun, like a piece of candy.  But at the end, it fills the heart with bitterness and also poisons us,” Pope Francis said Feb. 16.

“I tell you the truth,” he preached to the crowds filling St. Peter’s Square. “I am convinced that if each one of us would purposely avoid gossip, at the end, we would become a saint! It’s a beautiful path!”

“Do we want to become saints? Yes or no?” he queried as the crowds replied, “yes!”

“Yes? Do we want to live attached to gossip as a habit?” Pope Francis continued, “Yes or no? No? Ok, so we are in agreement! No gossip!”

The Gospel reading at Sunday’s Mass contained the story of Jesus explaining to the disciples that he had come “not to abolish, but to fulfill the law” of the old covenant.

Jesus offers the example of the fifth commandment, “do not kill,” and goes on to add, “but I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be guilty before the court.”

“With this, Jesus reminds us that even words can kill!” explained the Pope. “When it is said that someone has the ‘tongue of a serpent,’ what does it mean? That his words kill.”

“Therefore, not only must one not make an attempt on the life of others, but one must not even pour on him the poison of anger and hit him with slander, nor speak ill of him. And here we arrive at gossip. Gossip can also kill, because it kills the reputation of the person,” stressed the Pontiff.

Jesus proposes another way to his followers, “the perfection of love: a love in which the only measure is not to measure, but to go beyond all calculating.”

This Christian path of loving one’s neighbor is “so fundamental that Jesus comes to say that our relationship with God can not be honest if we do not want to make peace with our neighbor.”

“We are called to reconcile with our brothers prior to showing our devotion to the Lord in prayer,” said Pope Francis, noting Jesus’ words to his disciples, “if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother.”

The Pope then summarized, “from all of this, one understands that Jesus does not give importance simply to disciplinary observance and exterior conduct. He goes to the root of the law, focusing above all on the intention and then on the human heart, from where our good or bad actions originate.”

“Good and honest behavior”, he said, does not come merely from “juridical norms” but rather requires “profound motivation, expressions of a hidden wisdom, the Wisdom of God, which can be received by the grace of the Holy Spirit.”

It is Holy Spirit who “renders us capable of living divine love” and following “the greatest commandment: love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself.”

Pope Francis then led the crowds in the Angelus prayer and greeted the various pilgrim groups present before wishing everyone a “good Sunday and a good lunch.”

Tags: Sunday Angelus, Pope Francis, Gossip

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
Dec
21

Liturgical Calendar

December 21, 2014

FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Gospel
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14

Daily Readings


Gospel:: Lk 1: 26-38

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
12/15/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Homily
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14