I've always loved today's Gospel when Jesus pretty much tells Peter to mind his own business. I apply it to meddlesome types, usually as a sort of 'rebuke' for them to mind their own business. Yet today a friend directed me to the Holy Father's comments on the Gospel in his morning homily. I'm one of those meddlesome old trouts who needs to be told, "What is it to you?"
Need context? This is what the Holy Father said:
"What is it to you?" Pope Francis begin his homily referring to a question Jesus posed to Peter when he had meddled in the life of the disciple John, "whom Jesus loved." Peter, the Pope pointed out, had "a dialogue of love" with the Lord, but then the dialogue "is diverted to another track," and he also suffers from a temptation: "to interfere in the lives of others." How do you say "vulgar," said the Pope, Peter becomes "nosy". Focus is therefore on two modes of this mix in the lives of others. First, the "comparison", "to compare oneself with others." When there is this comparison, Pope Francis said, "we end up in bitterness and even envy, but envy rusts the Christian community, "it brings much hurt," the "devil wants that." The second mode of this temptation, he added, is gossip. It begins "in an educated way," but then we end up “feeling bad”.
"We all chat in Church! As Christians we chat! The chatter is hurtful? We hurt one another. It is as if we want to put each other down.: instead of growing one makes the other feel small while I feel great. That will not do! It seems nice to chat ... I do not know why, but it looks nice. Like sweet of honey, right? You take one and then another, and another, and another, and in the end you have a stomach ache. And why ? The chatter is like that eh? It is 'sweet at first and it ruins you, it ruins your soul! Rumours are destructive in the Church, they are destructive ... It’s 'a little' like the spirit of Cain who killed his brother, his tongue; it kills his brother! "
On this road, the Holy Father said, "we become Christians of good manners and bad habits." But how do we do this ? Normally, Pope Francis noted, "we do three things":
"We supply misinformation: we tell only half that suits us and not the other half, the other half we do not say because it is not convenient for us. You smile at that ... Is that true or not? Did you see that thing? It goes on. The second is defamation: When a person truly has a flaw, it is big, they tell it, 'like a journalist' ... And the character of this person is ruined. And the third is the slander of saying things that are not true. It is like killing ones brother! All three - disinformation, defamation and slander - are sins! This is sin! It is to slap Jesus in the person of his children, his brothers. "
"'This kind of talk will not do you any good, because it will just bring to the Church a spirit of destruction. Follow me! '. These are the beautiful words of Jesus, it is so clear, that he has so much love for us. As if to say: 'Don’t have fantasies, believing that salvation is in the comparisons with others or in gossip. Salvation is to go behind me '. Following Jesus! Today we ask the Lord Jesus to give us this grace not to ever get involved in the lives of others, not to become Christians of good manners and bad habits, it is to follow Jesus, to walk behind Jesus on his way. And this is enough. " - Vatican RadioI have made many mistakes on this blog... committed many sins. Lord, I am sorry, please forgive me, and undo the harm I have caused others. I have no excuse. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.
Meddlesome - Given to meddling; apt to interpose in the affairs of others; officiously intrusive.
Special thanks to Jackie.