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Pope warns of perfect piety that neglects the poor


(Vatican Radio)The Pope on Monday warned of " an attitude of perfect piety ," which looks at the doctrine of salvation but does not care for the "poor people " . He was speaking during his Homily at morning Mass at the Casa Santa Martha. Lydia O’Kane reports. RealAudioMP3

The Pope recalling Monday’s Gospel reading from Luke centred his homily on the “Sign of Jonah” and how Jesus speaks of a “ wicked generation”. The Pope explained that Jesus with these words was not referring to the people who followed him with love but he was pin pointing the doctors of the Church that tried to test him and make him fall into a trap ."
Pope Francis went on the say that the Pharisees asked for signs but Jesus answered by saying that he alone will give the “Sign of Jonah” just like Jonah himself became a sign to the Ninevites.
The Holy Father said that these people suffer from, what he called “The Jonah Syndrome” and Jesus calls them hypocrites because they have " an attitude of perfect piety ," which looks at the doctrine of salvation but does not care for "poor people " .
The Pope continued by saying that the “Sign of Jonah” , is the sign of truth that gives us the confidence to be saved by the blood of Christ. How many Christians are there, stressed Pope Francis, that think they will be saved only for the works they perform. The works, added the Pope are necessary, but they are a consequence, a response to the merciful love that saves us. These works without merciful love mean nothing. The “Jonah Syndrome” underlined the Holy Father is work without this love.
The Pope concluded by saying that we should take advantage of Monday’s liturgy to ask ourselves and make a choice. What do I prefer? The Sign of Jonah or The Syndrome of Jonah?