When we insult others, we silence them, taking away their voice.
Pope Francis reminds us that Jesus calls on us in the Gospel (Mt 5:20-26) to ‘radical reconciliation’. To reason with His disciples, Jesus takes an everyday example of how insults harm us, to highlight how important it is to have loving relationships. Jesus warns that insults “open up a path that ends in murder,” Pope Francis reminds us that when insult others we disqualify them and rob them of their respectability. “By insulting people we silence them, we take away their voice,” he said. A reason why insults are so dangerous is because they lead to envy, which is how the devil entered the world, according to the Book of Wisdom. “When another person does something I don’t like or when someone threatens me, envy pushes me to insult them." Pope Francis urges us to ask: “Have I insulted anyone today? When do I use insults? When do I close my heart to another with an insult? Can I see the bitter root of envy there that pushes me to desire the destruction of another in order to avoid competition, rivalry, that type of thing.” “It’s not easy,” the Pope admits. Yet, he encourages us: “let’s think how beautiful it would be if we never insulted others. May the Lord grant us this grace.” Jesus calls on us to end this cycle. “When you go to Mass and you are aware that one of your brothers has something against you, go and reconcile yourself… Jesus is that radical.” Pope Francis concluded by reminding us that true reconciliation is not the same as good manners. “No, it’s a radical attitude, one that tries to respect the dignity of others as well as my own. From insult to reconciliation, from envy to friendship - this is the example that Jesus gives us today.”