Pope Francis made a pastoral visit to the Roman parish of St. Michael the Archangel in Pietralata on Sunday afternoon.
According to the Vatican news blog, Il Sismografo, the Holy Father made a brief stop to visit an immigrant community near the parish and spent several minutes speaking to residents.
Upon his arrival to the parish, the Pope met with several parish groups including the sick, families with recently baptized children, youth enrolled in catechism classes, the scouts and several homeless members of the parish. The Holy Father also took a few moments to listen to the confessions of several parishioners prior to celebrating the Eucharist.
In his homily, the Jesuit Pope urged the parishioners to make two resolutions: ‘to read, every day, a little passage of the Gospel’ and ‘to pray that I will let myself be healed of the wounds I have.’
Reflecting on Jesus’ life, the Pope noted how the Lord preached, taught and healed, and stressed how reflecting on His life through reading the Gospel daily can change our lives.
Francis called on those gathered to ask themselves: “Do I let Jesus preach in me? Each one of us: Do I let Jesus preach in me or do I know everything? Do I listen to Jesus or do I prefer to listen to other things, perhaps people’s gossip, or stories?”
Almost reading the minds of the faithful, he continued: “And how can I do this, Father? On what TV channel does Jesus speak?”
“He speaks to you in the Gospel!” he responded. “And this is a habit that we still do not have: to go to seek the Word of Jesus in the Gospel.”
“We must always carry the Gospel with us, a small one, or have it at hand. Five minutes, ten minutes, when I am travelling, or when I must wait … I take the Gospel from my pocket or my bag and read something or I do so at home,” he said.
The Pope said that if for some reason the passage he opens to doesn’t seem to speak to him, he goes to another passage.
“Let yourselves be healed by Jesus,” he exclaimed, noting, “We all have wounds, all of us: spiritual wounds, sins, enmities, jealousy.”
“Perhaps we don’t greet someone: “Ah, he did this to me, I no longer greet him.” But this must be healed! “And how do I go about this?” Pray and ask Jesus to heal it. It is sad when in a family siblings don’t speak to one another for a foolish thing; because the devil takes a foolish thing and makes a world of it.”
The Pontiff explained that the devil sows this and that the only one who casts out demons is Jesus.
However, for this healing, he stressed that Christians must open their hearts, so that He can come.
“And how do I hope my heart?”
“By praying, ‘But Sir, I just can’t with those people there, I hate them, they have done this to me, and this and this ….’ ‘Heal this wound, Lord.’”
Pope Francis assured the parishioners that if we ask Jesus for this grace, He will give it.
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