Pope's Morning Homily: The Church's Doors Are Always Open

Reflects on the Mercy of Jesus Towards The Wounded During Mass at Casa Santa Marta

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«Jesus not only receives people into His house, the Church, but goes out searching for them.» These were the words of Pope Francis during his homily at Santa Marta this morning.

According to Vatican Radio, the Holy Father reflected on the first reading from the prophet Ezequiel, which recalled his vision of the temple and the river flowing near it.

«Wherever the river flows, every sort of living creature that can multiply shall live, and there shall be abundant fish, for wherever this water comes the sea shall be made fresh,» the angel says to Ezequiel.

That water, the Holy Father noted, is the same that flows in the pool of Bethesda where Jesus healed a man who was ill for 38 years. The criticism of the doctors of the law, who reproached Christ for healing on the Sabbath, is something that occurs many times.

«A man or a woman, who feel sick in their soul, sad, who have made many mistakes in life, at a certain moment feel the waters move, there is the Holy Spirit who moves something, or they hear a word. They take courage and go forward,» he said.

«And how many times today in Christian communities, do they find the door shut: ‘But you can’t, no, you cannot enter. You have a mistake and you can’t enter. If you want to come, go to the Sunday Mass, but stay there, you can’t do anything else.’ And that which the Holy Spirit does in the person is destroyed by Christians with the psychology of the doctors of the law.»

The Holy Father went on to say that he is saddened by this attitude, stressing that the Church is the «house of Jesus» and Jesus not only receives those who enter, but «goes out searching for them.»

«And if the people are wounded, what does Jesus do? Does he reproach them because they are wounded? No, He comes and carries them upon His shoulders. And this is called mercy. And when God reproaches His people – «I want mercy, not sacrifice!’ – he speaks of this.»

Concluding his homily, Pope Francis called on the faithful during the Lenten season to not commit the same mistake of denying Jesus’ love towards those wounded solely because it is contrary to the law.

«Let us ask the Lord in the Mass for ourselves, for each one of us and for the whole Church, for a conversion towards Jesus, a conversion to Jesus, a conversion to the mercy of Jesus. And thus the Law will be fulfilled completely, because the Law is to love God and neighbor as ourselves.»

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Junno Arocho Esteves

Newark, New Jersey, USA Bachelor of Science degree in Diplomacy and International Relations.

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