Pope Francis celebrates Mass in Santa Marta


Pope's Morning Homily: Jesus' Gaze Is on Us Constantly

At Casa Santa Marta, Francis Points Out Jesus Was Always Surrounded by People, But Not Interested in Being Popular

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If we keep our eyes constantly fixed on Jesus, we will discover with surprise that it is He Who looks lovingly upon each of us.
According to Vatican Radio, this message was at the heart of Pope Francis’ homily during his morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta today, as he recalled the Gospel of Mark which narrates two miracles.
First, Jesus heals a woman suffering from hemorrhaging for 12 years who, though pressed by the crowd, was able to touch his cloak. And he realizes that he was touched. Second, he raises the twelve year-old daughter of Jairus, a leader of the synagogue. He understands that the girl is hungry and tells her parents to give her something to eat.
Always Among People, Not to be Popular
“He didn’t walk around with guards to protect him, so that the people could not touch him. No, no! He stayed there and people surrounded him. And there were more people around every time Jesus went out.»
«Statisticians might have been inclined to publish: ‘Rabbi Jesus’ popularity is falling,’ Francis observed, adding «But He sought something else: He sought people. And the people sought Him. The people had their gaze fixed on Him and he had his fixed on them. ‘Yes, yes, on the people, on the multitude’ – ‘No, on each individual!’
This, Francis noted, is the peculiarity of Jesus’ gaze, namely that He does not «standardize» people, he looks at each person.”
“The gaze of Jesus falls on both the big and the small,» Francis said, explaining, «That’s how Jesus sees us all. He sees all things, but looks at each of us. He sees our big problems, our greatest joys, and also looks at the little things about us. Because he is close.»
While saying Jesus is not afraid of the big things, Francis underscored that He still takes account of the small ones. «That’s how Jesus looks at us.”
If we persevere, with our eyes fixed on Jesus,” Pope Francis said, “we will be completely astonished.»
His Gaze Is on Us, So Don’t Be Afraid
“I go forward, looking at Jesus. I walk ahead, keeping my gaze fixed on Jesus, and what do I find? That he has his gaze fixed on me! And that makes me feel this great astonishment. This is the astonishment of the encounter with Jesus.»
«But let us not be afraid!» he encouraged. «We are not afraid, just as that woman was not afraid to touch Jesus’ mantle. Let us not be afraid!»
Pope Francis concluded, saying, «Let us run down this road with our gaze ever fixed on Jesus. And we will have a beautiful surprise: He will fill us with awe.»
«Jesus himself has his gaze fixed on me,” he said.

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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': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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