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Pope Francis During Mass in Santa Marta

Pope Francis During Mass in Santa Marta © L'OSSERVATORE ROMANO

Santa Marta: Pope Explains What Makes a ‘Good Shepherd’

During Morning Mass, Francis Says We Will Be Judged on Our Closeness to Others

Pope Francis has explained what makes a ‘good shepherd.’

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.”

About Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is a 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':

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