Pope: Loving Our Neighbor Requires More Than Just Observing the Law

Also Denounces Ugliness of Gossip in His Sunday Angelus Address

Vatican City, (Zenit.org) | 1095 hits

Over 50,000 pilgrims from around the world gathered in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday to listen to Pope Francis’ address before and after the recitation of the Angelus.

The Holy Father reflected on the Sunday’s Gospel, which spoke of Christ’s desire to fulfill the Law of Moses. This ‘fulfillment’, he said, “requires a greater justice, a more authentic observance.”

“Jesus Himself answers us with some examples. Jesus was practical. He always used examples when he spoke to make himself understood,” he explained.

Referring to Christ’s words about ‘killing’ a brother through judging, the Pope told the faithful that gossip is an example of this form of judgement.

“Gossiping too can kill because it kills a person’s reputation! Gossip is very ugly!” he exclaimed. “At the beginning it can seem pleasant, even entertaining, like sucking on candy. But in the end it fills our hearts with bitterness, and it poisons us too.”

“I will tell you the truth, I am convinced that if each of us were to decide to avoid gossip, in the end we would become a saint! It is a beautiful path!”

The Holy Father went on to say that loving our neighbor, as Jesus says in the Gospel, requires more than just a strict observance of the Law, but rather “deeper motivations” that are a manifestation of God’s Wisdom.

Prior to reciting the Marian prayer with the faithful, Pope Francis concluded his remarks by asking those present to allow themselves to be open to the action of the Holy Spirit in bringing the law to fulfillment in their own lives.

“In the light of this teaching every precept reveals its full meaning as a demand of love, and all precepts are contained within the greatest commandment: love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself,” he said.