And surely almost everyone has it!
Speaking before the midday Angelus on Sunday, the pope said that “all are admitted on the path of the Lord: No one should feel like an intruder, an unlawful person or one without rights. To have access to His heart, to Jesus’ heart, there is just one prerequisite: to feel in need of healing and to entrust oneself to Him.
“I ask you: Does each one of you feel in need of healing? Of some thing, some sin, some problem? And, if you hear this, do you have faith in Jesus? These are the two requirements to be healed, to have access to His heart: to feel oneself in need of healing and to entrust oneself to Him.”
The pope made this reflection drawing from Sunday’s Gospel, which recounted two stories of Jesus healing people. In neither case were the beneficiaries already disciples of Christ.
Jairus and the woman with the hemorrhage both did what Jesus said explicitly to do: “Do not be afraid, just believe.” In the woman’s case, the pope said, “the striking fact is that the faith of this woman attracts – I want to say ‘steals’ – the divine saving power that is in Christ Who, feeling that a force ‘had come out of Him,’ tries to determine who it was.”
Francis noted that faith and new life are the intertwining themes of this Gospel
“Jesus is the Lord, and before Him, physical death is like a sleep: there is no reason to despair,” he said.
There is a different death to be afraid of, the pope warned, and that is the death of “the heart hardened by evil!”
“Yes, we must be afraid of that! When we feel we have hardened hearts, a heart that is hardening and, if I may say so, a mummified heart, then we must be afraid of this. This is the death of the heart. But even sin, even the mummified heart, is never the last word for Jesus, because He has brought us the infinite mercy of the Father. And even if we have fallen down, His soft and strong voice reaches us: ‘I tell you: get up!’
“It is beautiful to hear that word of Jesus addressed to each one of us: ‘I tell you: stand up! Go. Stand up, be brave, get up!'”
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