His Holiness Pope Francis based his homily on the day’s Gospel, which tells how Jesus did not observe the prescribed cleansing when He was invited to dine at the home of a Pharisee. The Gospel relates the harsh response of Jesus at the “amazement” of the Pharisees. The Pontiff emphasized the difference between the love of the people for Jesus, who loved Him because He touched their hearts, and a little bit because of their own interest; and the hatred of the doctors of the Law, the scribes, the Sadducees, the Pharisees, who followed Him in order to catch Him in an error.

As reported by Vatican news, The Pontiff remarked that “They were truly an example of formality. But they lacked life. They were, so to speak, “starched.” They were rigid. And Jesus knew their soul. This scandalizes us, because they were scandalized by the things Jesus did when He forgave sins, when He healed on the Sabbath. They rent their garments: “Oh! What a scandal! This is not from God, because He should have done this instead. The people didn’t matter to them: the Law mattered to them, the prescriptions, the rubrics. The Pharisee was scandalized by His behaviour which went beyond the rules. But Jesus says to him, “You Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filled with plunder and evil.””

The Pontiff concluded his remarks by reminding that “Be careful around those who are rigid. Be careful around Christians – be they laity, priests, bishops – who present themselves as so “perfect,” rigid. Be careful. There’s no Spirit of God there. They lack the spirit of liberty. And let us be careful with ourselves, because this should lead us to consider our own life.