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Pope at Angelus: 'Do Not Be Afraid; Just Have Faith'

Francis Says Believers Are to ‘Touch’ Christ Confident of His Saving Grace

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If you are in need of healing, reach out to Christ for His saving grace. Pope Francis explored this theme today during his Angelus address to the faithful in St. Peter’s Square at noon.

The Pope recalled Mark’s Gospel today which shows two instances where two people were saved by their faith.The first involved a twelve-year-old daughter of one of the synagogue’s officials. He fell at the feet of Jesus and begged him: ‘My daughter is at the point of death. Please, come lay your hands on her that she may get well and live.’ (Mark 5:23). In the meantime, news came that the girl died. To this, Jesus said, ‘Do not be afraid; just have faith’ (v. 36). Jesus entered the house, sent all the crying people away, turned to the dead child and said, ‘Little girl, I say to you, arise!’ Immediately, the girl got up and began walking.

«Here,» the Pope highlighted, «we see the absolute power of Jesus over physical death, that, for Him, it is like a sleep from which one can awaken.»

The second episode within this narrative, Francis went on to say, discusses the healing of a woman who was suffering from blood loss for 12 years. This disease, according to the culture of the time, made her «unclean,» the Pope pointed out, noting that if she didn’t avoid all human contact, she would be condemned to civil death. This anonymous woman in the crowd following Jesus, said to herself, ‘If I but touch His clothes, I shall be cured.’ (v. 28). Jesus noticed her and, in the midst of people, sought her face. She comes forward trembling. Jesus tells her, ‘Daughter, your faith has saved you,’ and heals her.

«Who believes, ‘touches’ Jesus and draws from Him the grace that saves,» Francis said, adding, «Faith is this: to touch him and expect to draw from Him his saving grace. It saves us in the spiritual life. It saves us many problems!»

The Pope underscored that the voice of the heavenly Father speaks in Jesus in this episode, saying, «‘Daughter, you are not cursed, you are not excluded, you are my daughter!»

«Every time when Jesus approaches us, when we go to Him, we hear this from the Father: ‘Son. You are my son, you are my daughter, you’re healed, you’re healed. I heal all, everyone and everything,» Francis said off the cuff.

Both instances are centered on faith, said the Pontiff. ​»The message is clear and can be summed up in one question: Do we believe that Jesus can heal us and can awaken us from the dead?» he said.

The Gospel this Sunday, the Holy Father urged, «invites us to live in the certainty of the Resurrection: Jesus is Lord, has power over evil and death, and wants to take us into the Father’s home, where life reigns.» In history, the Resurrection of Christ acts as the beginning of renewal and hope, Francis reminded the faithful.

After the Angelus, Pope Francis concluded wishing all those present a good Sunday, a good lunch, and asking them to pray for him.


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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': or

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