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Pope Francis: “words can kill”



(Vatican Radio) Where there is God there is no hatred, envy or jealousy, and there is no gossip that can kill.

This was the message at the heart of Pope Francis’ homily this morning as he celebrated Mass in the Casa Santa Marta after the summer break.

Listen to Linda Bordoni's report... RealAudioMP3

The Pope first reflected on today’s liturgical reading which tells of the meeting between Jesus and the people of Nazareth as recounted by the Gospel according to Luke.

The Pope noted that the people of Nazareth with whom he had grown up, admired Jesus, but at the same time expected great things from him: “they wanted a miracle” to be able to believe in Him. And when Jesus told them they were without faith, they were filled with fury, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill to hurl him down headlong”.

And Pope Francis reflected on the reading pointing out that a situation which had started off with admiration was to end with a crime: they wanted to kill Jesus. Because of jealousy and envy. This – he said – is not just something that happened two thousand years ago: “this kind of thing happens every day in our hearts, in our communities”. And he made the example of when somebody new enters a community, on the first day – he said - people speak well of him; on the second not so well; and from the third on gossip and badmouthing starts to spread and end up skinning him”.

The Pope elaborated on the concept quoting from the first letter of St. John 3, 15 in which he says: “He who hates his brother is a murderer”. We are used to gossip – he continued – “but how many times our communities, even our families have become a hell in which we criminally kill our brother with words”.

A community, a family – the Pope continued – can be destroyed by envy that sows evil in the heart and causes one to speak badly of the other”. In these days, Pope Francis said, days in which we are speaking so often of peace, we see the victims of arms, but we must also reflect on our daily arms: “badmouthing and gossip”. Every community – the Pope concluded – must live with the Lord and be “like heaven”.

“So that there is peace in a community, in a family, in a country, in the world, we must be with the Lord. And where the Lord is, there is no envy, there is no criminality, there is no hatred, and there are no jealousies. There is brotherhood. Let this be our prayer to the Lord: never kill your neighbor with words”.






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