According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis gave this reminder today, Oct. 30, 2017, during his daily morning Mass in his residence Casa Santa Marta, as he reflected on today’s Gospel from St. Luke.
In the reading, Jesus meets a woman in the synagogue who, for years, has been crippled and is unable to stand up straight. Jesus did five things: He saw, called, spoke to, laid hands on and cured her. These five actions, the Argentine Pope noted, illustrate a good shepherd.
Jesus, the Pope stressed, was constantly rebuked by the doctors of the Law, the Pharisees and Sadducees, for this closeness. However, their not being genuinely interested in their people and being closed off in their own worlds made it impossible for them to ever be good shepherds, the Pope observed. They were more interested in money, Francis said.
Such people, the Holy Father reminded, are hypocrites since they are not interested in their people, but became offended when Jesus accuses them of their misdoings.
On the other hand, Francis said, Jesus felt compassion for the marginalized and was close to his people. Whether someone was poor, sick, a sinner or leper, the Pontiff said, Jesus was always there.
Likewise, God teaches us to be close to others, the Pope reminded. Good shepherds do as Jesus did, they show mercy and make themselves a servant to others.
The good shepherd, Francis continued, sees, calls, speaks, touches and heals.
Pope Francis concluded, saying that just as God came close to us through Jesus Christ, “all of us will be judged by how we try to be close to those who are hungry, sick, in prison or in any kind of need.”