Pope Francis says there are many “wounded” waiting in the aisles of the Church for a minister of Christ to heal them from their pains and sorrows and liberate them from the demons that plague them.
According to Vatican Radio, the Holy Father described the Church as a field hospital and explained what is proper service to those in need during his morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta.
“I sometimes describe the Church as a field hospital,” Francis reaffirmed, saying, “There are many wounded, how many wounded! How many people who need their wounds to be healed!”
To heal and care for its people, the Pope said, is the mission of the Church. This requires, he said, “healing the wounded hearts, opening doors, freeing [people], and saying that God is good, forgives all, is our Father, is tender, and is always waiting for us … “
Reflecting on today’s Gospel, in which Jesus sends his disciples out to the villages to preach, heal the sick and drive out “unclean spirits,” the Pope stressed the disciples needed a certain attitude. The Gospel, Jesus said, must be proclaimed in poverty, and must be done for no reason other to bring the good news of liberty to the oppressed.
Although the Apostles preached with no food, sack, or money in their belts, the Pope stressed that the purity and simplicity of how they wished to help others made them happy and satisfied.
Francis added that Christ’s ministers must always remember, however, that they are simple “servants of the Kingdom.”
These proclaiming ‘servants,’ he stressed, must have alleviating the miseries of the poor as their sole aim and must never forget their service is not done through human hands, but through the Holy Spirit.
The Pope reminded those gathered that the nature of proclaiming the good news and bringing Christ to the poor, blind, and imprisoned must not take on the wrong form.
“It’s true, we have to help and create organizations that help in this: yes, because the Lord gives us the gifts for this. But when we forget this mission, forget poverty, forget the apostolic zeal and instead, place our hope in these [human] means, the Church slowly slips into becoming an NGO, it becomes a beautiful organization.”
This organization, the Pope concluded, is “powerful,” but not “evangelical,” because “it lacks that spirit, that poverty, that power to heal.”