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Pope’s Homily at Mass at Roman Parish of St. Michael the Archangel

“We can ask ourselves: 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?”

Below is a translation of Pope Francis’ homily during his pastoral visit to the parish of Saint Michael the Archangel at Pietralata, in the northern sector of the diocese of Rome, Sunday afternoon:

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Jesus’ life was like this: “He went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons” (Mark 1:39). Jesus who preaches and Jesus who heals. His whole day was like this: He preaches to the people, teaches the Law, teaches the Gospel. And people sought him to listen to him and also to have him heal the sick. “That evening, at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons …. And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons” (Mark 1:32.34). And we are before Jesus in this celebration: it is Jesus who is presiding over this celebration. We, priests, are in the name of Jesus, but He is the president, He is the true priest, who offers the sacrifice to the Father.

We can ask ourselves: 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 ….  To listen to Jesus, to listen to Jesus’ preaching …“And how can I do this, Father? On what TV channel does Jesus speak?” He speaks to you in the Gospel! 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. And Jesus speaks to me. Jesus preaches to me there. It is Jesus’ word. And we must become accustomed to this: to hear the Word of Jesus, to listen to the Word of Jesus in the Gospel. To read a passage, to think a little on what it says, what it says to me. If I don’t think it speaks to me, I go to another passage. But I must have this daily contact with the Gospel, pray with the Gospel, because in this way Jesus preaches to me, with the Gospel he says what he wants to say to me. I know people who always carry it and, when they have a little time, they open it, and thus always find the right word for the moment they are living. This is the first thing I want to say to you: let the Lord preach to you. Listen to the Lord.

And Jesus healed: let yourselves be healed by Jesus. 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. Then enmities go on, many times for years, and that family is destroyed. The parents suffer because the children don’t speak to one another, or the wife of a son doesn’t speak to another, and so jealousies, envies …. The devil sows this. And the only one who casts out demons is Jesus. The only one who heals these things is Jesus. Therefore, I say to each one of you: let yourself be healed by Jesus. Each one knows where he has a wound. Every one of us has one, and not just one: two, three, four, twenty. Each one knows! May Jesus heal those wounds. However, for this I must open my heart, 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.” If we ask Jesus for this grace He will give it. Let yourselves be healed by Jesus.

Let Jesus preach to you and let him heal you. Then I can also preach to others, teach Jesus’ words, because I let Him preach in me; and I can also help to heal so many wounds, the many wounds that there are. However, I must do it first: let Him preach in me and let Him heal me.

When the Bishop comes to make a visit to the parishes, so many things are done, a good, little resolution can also be made: the resolution to read every day a passage of the Gospel, a little passage, to let Jesus preach in me. And the other resolution: to pray that I will let myself be healed of the wounds I have. Agreed? Do we sign? Agreed? But let’s do it, because it will do everyone good. Thank you.

[Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]

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