Following his return from his Apostolic Visit to Sri Lanka and the Philippines, Pope Francis has resumed his daily morning Mass in Casa Santa Marta. In his homily today, the Holy Father reminded the faithful that physical healing is not what’s most important, but the fact that Jesus saves and intercedes for those who seek Him.
According to Vatican Radio, the Pope drew today’s homily from St. Mark’s Gospel, in which a great multitude of people followed Jesus and his disciples to be healed.
“[Jesus] told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush Him; for he had cured many, so that all who had diseases pressed upon him to touch him,” the Gospel states.
“The people feel this and see that the promises are fulfilled in Jesus; that in Jesus there is hope,” the Pope explained.
“The people were a bit bored of the way faith is taught, from the doctors of the law of that time, who loaded on their shoulders many commandments, many precepts, but did not reach the heart of the people. And when they see and feel Jesus, His proposals, the Beatitudes…they feel something move within them – it is the Holy Spirit that awakens them! – and they go in search of Jesus.”
The 78-year-old Pontiff noted that like the great multitude, “we never follow God with pure intentions in the beginning.”
“It’s always a little for us, a little for God,” he said.
However, he added, what is most important is not the physical healing nor that Jesus’ words touch the heart, although both help to “meet God.”
Drawing from the Letter to the Hebrews, the Jesuit Pope explained that Jesus can save those who seek God and intercede for them.
“Jesus saves and Jesus is the intercessor!” he exclaimed. “These are the two key words!”
“Jesus saves! This healing, these words that reach the heart are the sign and the beginning of salvation. The journey of salvation of many who begin to walk, to hear Jesus or to ask for healing and then return to Him and feel the salvation. But is Jesus healing what is most important? No, it is not the most important! What does He teach us? … That He saves! He is the Savior and we are saved by Him. And this is most important. This is the strength of our faith.”
The Price of Salvation
Regarding Christ as an intercessor, the Holy Father said that Jesus intercedes for us to God every day, showing His wounds which are “the price of salvation.”
“When we, for one reason or another, are a bit down, let us remember that it is He who prays for us, who intercedes continuously for us,” he said.
“Many times we forget this: ‘But Jesus…yes, it is finished, He has gone to Heaven, He has sent us the Holy Spirit, end of story.’ No! Currently, in every moment, Jesus intercedes. In this prayer: ‘Lord Jesus, have mercy on me’. Intercede for me. To turn to the Lord, asking for this intercession.”
Concluding his homily, Pope Francis called on the faithful to live their Christian life convinced that they have been saved, that they have a Savior: “Jesus, at the right hand of the Father, who intercedes.”
“May the Lord, the Holy Spirit, help us understand these things,” he said.