Loudly boasting or complaining about fasting during Lent and treating others unkindly is not what God wants, Pope Francis said.
“Does my fasting end up helping others? If it doesn’t, it’s fake, it’s contradictory and it leads to the path of a double life. I pretend to be Christian – righteous like the Pharisees, the Sadducees – but inside I am not,” he said in his homily on 16th February at morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
The pope preached on the day’s first reading, taken from the prophet Isaiah, which condemned the false ways the faithful were fasting on a day of penance and the ways that are “acceptable to the Lord.”
Catholics who fast and boast aloud about their penitential acts are engaged in deception and are “rigging” true virtue, he said.
The only cover-up people should commit is covering their face with a genuine smile so others are unaware they are fasting and doing penance, he said.
Picture: Pope Francis celebrates Mass on 16th February in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae at the Vatican. In his homily, the pope said that if a Christian’s Lenten fasting does not help others and lead to a real awareness of one’s own sins, then it is “fake.” (CNS photo/Vatican Media).