Safeguard the light of faith, and let it shine before men, avoiding those behaviors that are likely to hide it, from jealousy and arguments, plotting against our neighbor - "the little bit of Mafia that we all have" – that put’s off to tomorrow the good we can do today, said Pope Francis at Mass this morning in Casa Santa Marta, taking a cue from today’s Gospel.
"Cherishing the light - he said - means guarding something that we
have been given as a gift and if we exude light, we do so because we
received the gift of light on the day of our Baptism". The Pope recalled
that "in the early centuries of the Church", and still "in some
Eastern Churches" today "Baptism is referred to as Illumination”.
This light, he warned, "should not be hidden." "If you hide this
light," in fact, "you become lukewarm or simply" a "Christian in name
only". The light of faith "is a true light, which Jesus gives us in
baptism", "it is not an artificial light, a souped-up light. It is a
gentle, serene light that never goes out".
But there is a whole range of behaviors that are likely to hide this
light and encourage the approach of darkness, first "never hesitate to
help those in need". "Never off to tomorrow the good we can do today ...
doing good cannot be put on hold: You must do good today, and if you do
not do it today, tomorrow is too late. Do not put off to tomorrow what
the good you can do today: this putting off to tomorrow hides light. It
is also an injustice ... Another way – these are tips, to avoid hiding
the light: do not plan evil against your neighbor. How often people
exploit the trust of others to plot evil, to destroy, to dirty other’s
reputation, to render them unless ... This is the little bit of Mafia
that we all have within; taking advantage of the trust of others to plot
evil, this is mafia! 'But, I do not belong ...': but this is the mafia,
exploiting the trust of others ... It hides the light, it blots it out.
It makes you dark. Every Mafioso is dark! ".
The Pope emphasized the temptation of always fighting with someone,
the pleasure of arguing with those who do "nothing wrong." "We always
look for something to argue about. But in the end we grow tired, of
arguing: you can not live like this. It 'better to let go, forgive ","
to pretend not to see things ... not to quarrel constantly". "Another
piece of advice that the Father gives to the children not to cover the
light: 'Do not envy the man of violence and do not fret because all his
success, because the Lord holds the perverse in horror, while his
friendship - the Lord - is for the righteous'. And often we feel
jealousy, envy towards those who have things, or who are violent ... but
let's look at the history of the violent, the powerful ... Well, it's
simple: the same worms will eat we eat them; the same! In the end we
will all be equal. Envy, ah! power, feeling jealousy ... this covers the
Christ’s council: "Be children of light and not of darkness; guard
the light that was given as a gift on the day of Baptism ". "Do not hide
it under the bed," but "keep the light shining". And to safeguard the
light, he reiterated, there are these tips to put into practice every
day. "There are strange things we see these things that cover the light
"May the Holy Spirit, that we all have received in Baptism,
help us not to fall into these bad habits that cover the light, and help
us to carry on the light received for free, the light of God that does
so much good: The light friendship, the light of meekness, the light of
faith, the light of hope, the light of patience, the light of goodness".