On the one hand, the poor, the meek ones, the peacemakers, those hungry for justice who fight for justice or are persecuted for justice for love of righteousness. On the other hand, “the ones whose hearts are dirty,” the “makers of war” and not of peace, and those who are never criticized or persecuted because injustice done to other people is of no concern to them.” The first, however, are happy, the latter live in sadness; because the first have an “open heart” and receive the gift of consolation of God, the latter feel themselves already “self-sufficient”, and end up seeing their returned image in the mirror. A “dirty” and “painted” image.
It is an incisive message that of Pope Francis in his June 6 homily at Santa Marta, all centered on the theme of “consolation” as a parameter to measure Joy, Christian and human joy. For his reflection – as Vatican Radio reports – the Pontiff relies on today’s Gospel in which Jesus clearly explains, “who the happy ones are, and who the blessed ones are.”
“The poor: the heart is opened with an attitude of poverty, of poverty of spirit; those who know how to cry, the meek ones, the meekness of heart; those hungry for justice who fight for justice; those who are merciful, who have mercy on others; the pure of heart; peace-makers and those who are persecuted for justice, for love of righteousness. Thus is the heart opened and [then] the Lord comes with the gift of consolation and the mission of consoling others.” the Pope emphasizes.
According to Francis, “such people are contrasted with those who are “closed” and feel “rich in spirit” – that is, “sufficient,” i.e., “those who do not need to cry because they feel they are in the right,” the violent who do not know what meekness is, the unjust who commit injustice, those who are without mercy, who never need to forgive because they do not feel the need to be forgiven, “the ones whose hearts are dirty,” the “makers of war” and not of peace, and those who are never criticized or persecuted because injustice done to other people is of no concern to them.”
“These,” Pope Francis says, “have a closed heart.” They are not happy because the gift of consolation cannot enter their closed hearts, and so they cannot give it in turn to those who need it.” No one can console himself,” the Pontiff warns. San Paul also says in the first reading of today, speaking eight times in 19 lines of this “spiritual experience” of consolation that “always needs ‘someone else’ in order to be full”. And “whoever tries to do it ends up looking into the mirror – staring into the mirror and trying to ‘make oneself up.’
An example that is repeatedly used in the Gospel is that of the doctors of the Law: the wealthy Epulone, just to name one, who thought he found consolation feast after feast, or the Pharisee’s who, in front of the altar recites a prayer which says: “Thank you for I am unlike everyone else”. “This man was just looking at him-self in the mirror, looking at his soul made up of ideologies and thanking the Lord.” the Pope notes, Leading such a life “one shall never arrive at fullness, to the utmost it will get you to its” swelling that is, vainglory. “This is a fake consolation,” warns the Pope.
Jesus then shows an alternative way: to become consoled, happy people, at the service of others. “Consolation always needs an alterity,” the Pope repeats, for “it is a state of transition from the gift received to the service given.” And so “if I let the consolation of the Lord enter as a gift it is because I need to be consoled. One must recognize oneself as being in need of consolation. Only then does the Lord come, console us, and give us the mission to console others. “Pope Bergoglio points out.