Before the recitation of the Marian Prayer, Holy Father Pope Francis reflected on Sunday’s Gospel reading from Mark in which Jesus addresses the objections of scribes and Pharisees who accuse his disciples of not following traditional ritual precepts. The Pontiff explained that, Our Lord knows he is being tested, but he wants to draw these men away from the error in which they have fallen, that is, “to overthrow the will of God by neglecting his commandments to observe human traditions.”

As reported by Vatican news, The Pontiff went on to say, the message of Sunday’s Gospel is also reinforced by the voice of the Apostle James, who tells us how true religion must be: that being, “to visit orphans and widows who are suffering and not to be contaminated by this world”. He also explained that the phrase “do not let yourself be contaminated by this world” does not mean isolating oneself and closing oneself off to reality, it means to be vigilant so that our way of thinking and acting is not polluted by vanity, greed, pride.”

His Holiness Pope Francis then invited the faithful to welcome the Word with an open mind and heart”, adding that it, purifies our heart, our actions and our relationship with God and with others and is freed from hypocrisy.