Pope Francis: ‘Please, take back your check, burn it.’

To understand this well: when one is sick one goes to the doctor; when one feels himself a sinner one goes to the Lord. However, if instead of going to the doctor, one goes to a magician, one is not healed. So many times we do not go to the Lord, but prefer to go on mistaken paths, seeking outside of Him justification, justice and peace.  God, says the prophet Isaiah, is not pleased with the blood of bulls and lambs (v. 11), especially if the offering is made with hands soiled with the blood of brothers (v. 15). However, I think of some benefactors of the Church who come with an offering – “Take this offering for the Church” – which is the fruit of so many exploited, mistreated, enslaved people with badly paid work! I would say to these people: “Please, take back your check, burn it.” The people of God, namely the Church, does not need dirty money; she needs hearts open to God’s mercy. It is necessary to approach God with purified hands, avoiding evil and doing good and justice.  How beautiful is the way the prophet ends: “Wash yourselves clean! Put away your misdeeds from before my eyes; cease doing evil; learn to do good.Make justice your aim: redress the wronged, hear the orphan’s plea, defend the widow” (Isaiah 1:16-17). … —Pope Francis, general audience (March 2, 2016)

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