Pope Francis’ Monday morning homily reflected on Jesus’ miracles of healing, which always include a lasting encounter with the person who is healed.
“These acts of Jesus make us think. When He heals, when He goes among the crowds and heals a person, He never leaves that person alone. He is not a magician, a wizard, a healer, who goes and cures and continues on his way,” explained the Pope on Feb. 24 to the congregation of the chapel of the Santa Marta residence.
Instead, Jesus helps everyone “to return to his proper place – He leaves no one on the side of the road.”
“These acts of Jesus are very beautiful, indeed,” added Pope Francis.
The Holy Father went on to consider other Gospel passages that contain a similar message, like the parable of the lost sheep, or the raising of the widow’s son from the dead. Jesus “always makes sure we get safely home. He never leaves us alone along the way,” encouraged the Pontiff.
Jesus’ unwillingness to leave anyone alone points to the importance of a Christian belonging to the wider community of the Church, explained Pope Francis.
“These gestures of Jesus teach us that every healing, every (act of) pardon, always helps us return to our People, which is the Church."
Thus, it is “an absurdity to love Christ without the Church, to feel Christ but not the Church, to follow Christ from the margins of the Church,” because “Christ and the Church are united.”
Christ himself displays this unity in his Incarnation, noted the Pope. “Jesus did not only come from Heaven. He is the Son of a People. Jesus is the promise made to that People, which, beginning with Abraham, made its way toward the promise.
The healing miracles of Jesus us “make us think,” said Pope Francis. They may seem “revolutionary” or “inexplicable” when they extend to people who seem beyond help, but the gestures of Christ always lead people “home.”
Today’s gospel recounts how Jesus disciples have failed to heal a boy possessed by a demon. The crowd is noisy and excited, “but all the chaos, all the discussion, ends in a gesture: Jesus lowers himself (and) takes up the boy.”
These types of “gestures of so much tenderness make us realize this: that our doctrine, let us say, or our following Christ, is not an idea. It is a constant abiding at home – and although each of us has the opportunity and the real experience of leaving home for a sin, a mistake – God knows – salvation (means) going home with Jesus in the Church.”
“One by one, the Lord is calling us as well, to His people, into His family, our mother, the Holy Church. Let us think on these acts of Jesus,” Pope Francis concluded.