We should run away from sin and not look back, Pope Francis said at Mass in the chapel of his residence, the Domus Sanctae Marthae, this morning.
Reflecting on today’s first reading, which describes Lot hesitating before fleeing Sodom, he said: “It’s so hard to cut ties with a sinful situation. It is hard! Even in a temptation it’s hard! But the voice of God tells us this word: ‘Escape! You cannot fight there, because the fire, the sulphur will kill you. Escape!’ St Thérèse of the Child Jesus taught us that sometimes, in some temptations, the only solution is to escape and not be ashamed to escape; to recognise that we are weak and we have to escape. And our popular wisdom, in its simplicity, says as much, somewhat ironically: ‘He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day.’ Escaping to go forward along the path of Jesus.”
According to Vatican Radio, he added: “Faced with sin, we must escape without any nostalgia. Curiosity does not help, it hurts! ‘But, in this sinful world, what can we do? What is this sin like? I would like to know…’ No, do not! This curiosity will hurt you! Run away and do not look back! We are weak, all of us, and we must defend ourselves.”
Turning to the Gospel reading, in which Jesus calms a violent storm at sea, the Pope said that when faced with sin, nostalgia and fear we should turn to the Lord.
He said: “Looking to the Lord, contemplating the Lord. This gives us the beautiful wonder of a new encounter with the Lord. ‘Lord, I am being tempted: I want to stay in this situation of sin, Lord, I am curious to know about these things, Lord, I’m afraid.’ And they looked to the Lord: ‘Save us, Lord, we are lost!’ And wonder at a new encounter with Jesus followed. We must not be naive or lukewarm Christians, but brave, courageous. We are weak, but we must be courageous in our weakness. And often our courage must be expressed in escaping without looking back, so as not to fall into the trap of wicked nostalgia. Do not be afraid and always look to the Lord!”