A sinner is closest to the heart of Jesus because He is close to those in need of healing. This was is the central theme of Pope Francis’ homily today at Casa Santa Marta. The Holy Father focused his homily, which centered on the mercy of God, on three major points: contemplation, closeness, and abundance.
Reflecting on St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans, the Holy Father stated that the mystery of God cannot be understood through intelligence alone, but also through contemplation and prayer.
“When intelligence wants to explain a mystery, it always – always! – becomes crazy!,” the Pope said. “And that is how it happened in the History of the Church. Contemplation: intelligence, heart, kneeling, prayer…all together, to enter into the mystery. That is the first word that perhaps will help us.”
The Holy Father went on to explain that Paul’s assertion that through one man sin entered and through one man salvation entered signifies the closeness of God to us. The Pope compared the action of God to an infirmary, where the Lord comes to heal us, involving himself in our lives and “meddles in our misery.” In order to come closer to us, he continued, God made himself man.
“A man has made sin, a man comes to heal it. Closeness. God does not save us only through a decree, a law; He saves us with tenderness, He saves with caresses, He saves us with His life, for us,” the Pope said.
The third word, abundance, referred to St. Paul’s words which state that “when sin abounded, grace abounded all the more.” God, he said, in coming close to us to heal our wounds, gave man an overabundance of grace and love. From such abundance, we can see Jesus’ preference for sinners.
“Maybe some of us don’t like to say this, but those who are closest to the heart of Jesus, are the biggest sinners, because He looks for them, he calls to all: ‘Come, come!’ And when they ask for an explanation, he says: ‘But, those who have good health do not need a doctor; I have come to heal, to save,’” the Pope said.
Concluding his homily, Pope Francis told the faithful that to fight against the “ugly sin” of distrusting God who loves sinners, it is important to reflect on His contemplation, closeness and abundance. “He is a God who always win with his overabundance of grace, with His tenderness, with His wealth of mercy,” the Pope said.