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Pope’s Morning Homily: Conversion Heals, Creates Us Anew

During Mass at Santa Marta, Francis Reminds Jesus Wants Us to Follow in His Footsteps

We are all in need of healing. To do so, convert, heal and be made anew…

According to Vatican News, Pope Francis stressed this during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta as he reflected on the conversion and healing we all need.

Today’s Gospel, Francis recalled, tells of how Jesus sends his disciples into the world to bring healing, just as He Himself came into the world to heal, “to heal the root of sin in us,” “the original sin.”

Healing, the Pope said, is a bit like “creating from anew.”

“Jesus recreated us from the root and then allowed us to move forward with his teaching, with his doctrine, a doctrine that heals” he said. Yet, the first requisite, he noted, is that there be conversion.

Conversion 1st Step

“Conversion,” he said, “is the first step of healing in the sense that it opens the heart so that the Word of God may enter.” The Pope compared it to seeking to be cured from a medical doctor saying that “if someone is sick and refuses to go to the doctor he will not be healed.”

As Christians, the Pontiff pointed out, we may do many good things, but if our hearts our closed, it’s only a façade. In order “to proclaim so that people may convert, the Holy Father reminded, one requires authority” that comes from being like Jesus.

In the Gospel, he said, Jesus instructs the Apostles to “to take nothing for the journey but a walking stick – no food, no sack, no money in their belts”. In essence, he noted: poverty.

The apostle must be a pastor, he said, “who does not seek sheep’s milk, who does not seek sheep’s wool” referring to the concept as expressed by Saint Augustine explained that “the shepherd who seeks milk seeks money, and the shepherd who seeks wool likes to dress with vanity.”

Francis invited Christians–as Jesus had told the Apostles–to follow a path of “poverty, humility, meekness.”

“If an apostle, an envoy, one of us goes, with his nose in the air, believing himself superior to the others or because of self-interest looking for some human interest,” the Argentine Pope explained, “he will never heal anyone, he will never succeed in opening anyone’s heart, because his word will have no authority.”

When the Apostles called for conversion, “the Twelve drove out many demons,” they could because they had the authority. This authority comes from being interested in the people, not by speaking down to them, the Pope said.

Even Demons Flee

Since demons “cannot bear that sins be healed,” Francis said, they “flee before humility, before the power of Christ’s name with which the apostle carries out his mission.”

All Christians, Francis said, can bring healing, not only priests and bishops, since: “each of us has the power to heal his brother or sister.”

Pope Francis concluded, reminding: “We all need to be healed, and we can all heal others if we are humble and meek: with a good word, with patience, with a glance.”

About Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is a 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 four languages). She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, at times from the papal flight, and has done television and radio commentary, including for Vatican Radio and BBC. She is a contributor to National Catholic Register, UK Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside the Vatican, and other Catholic news outlets. She has also collaborated with the Vatican in various projects, including an internship at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and is a collaborator with NBC Universal, NBC News, Euronews, EWTN and Salt & Light. 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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