Fr. Aidan Writes:
In today’s Gospel Jesus prepares the disciples at the last supper for his departure and tells them, ‘I give you a new commandment; love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” The ending is very important because it is said in a pos-
sessive voice, if you have love for one another. Implying that it is not just a pious statement.
Given this essential commandment of our faith, it is a concern of the Holy Father and for the whole church, including our own parish, that we seem to be susceptible to gossip. Pope Francis uses very powerful imagery to show the devastating corrosive power of gossip. Here are some recent state- ments from our Holy Father on the matter. He says it is a “Plague worse than CoVid”…and that it comes from the devil the “biggest gossiper”. He says that people who receive and give the sign of peace “should be men and women of peace, and not ruin…The peace made by the Holy Spirit with your tongue.” “Gossip is not a work of the Holy Spirit, it is not a work of the unity of the Church. Gossip destroys the work of God. Please stop gossiping.” “When we gossip about others, we do not walk in the light; we walk in the darkness.” “Gossip is like a bomb. One throws it, it causes de- struction and you walk away tranquilly. No gossip, and know that the best remedy against gos- sip is to bite your tongue.” “It is the disease of cowards, who do not have the courage to speak up- front and so talk behind one’s back… Watch out against the terrorism of gossip!”
So, can we look at this point carefully? We are all prone to it. A number of times I know I should have bitten my tongue. But then again, I am sometimes astounded about gossip over things I have supposedly said or done, which I absolutely have not. Remember, gossip is the devil’s work and he uses our prejudices as the fuel for the gossip bomb! As Pope Francis says, “Don’t forget: to gossip is to kill.”
God bless you and you families
May God bless you, your families, and the week ahead,
Fr Aidan Peter