The Holy Father looked out at noon at the window of his study in the Vatican Apostolic Palace to pray the Angelus with the faithful and pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
These have been his words in the Marian prayer.
Before the Angelus
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
Today in the Gospel (cf. Mk 5:21-43) Jesus encounters our two most dramatic situations, death and illness. From them he frees two people: a girl, who dies just when her father has gone to ask Jesus for help; and a woman, who has had blood flow for many years. Jesus allows Himself to be touched by our pain and our death, and He works two signs of healing to tell us that neither pain nor death has the last word. It tells us that death is not the end. Defeat this enemy, from which we cannot free ourselves.
Let us focus, however, on this moment when the disease continues to occupy the first pages, on the other sign, the healing of the woman. More than her health, it was her affections that were compromised, why?: she had blood flows and, therefore, according to the mentality of the time, was considered impure. She was a marginalized woman, she couldn’t have stable relationships, she couldn’t have a husband, she couldn’t have a family, and she couldn’t have normal social relationships because she was impure. A disease that made her impure. She lived alone, her heart wounded. What is the worst disease of life? Cancer? the pandemic? Nope. The worst disease of life is the lack of love, it is not being able to love. This poor woman was sick, yes, of blood flows, but consequently of lack of love because she could not socialize with others. And the healing that matters most is that of affections. But how to find it? We can think about our affections: are they sick or are they in good health? Are they sick? Jesus is able to heal them.
The story of this nameless woman—we call her that, “the woman without a name”—with whom we can all identify, is exemplary. The text says that he had tried many cures, and “spent all his goods to no avail, rather, going to the worse” (v. 26). We too, how many times do we throw ourselves on wrong remedies to satiate our lack of love? We think that success and money make us happy, but love is not bought, it is free. We take refuge in the virtual, but love is concrete. We do not accept ourselves as we are and hide behind the tricks of the outside world, but love is not appearance. We look for solutions from magicians and gurus, only to find ourselves without money and without peace, like that woman. She finally chooses Jesus and pounces in the crowd to touch the mantle, the mantle of Jesus. That is, that woman seeks direct contact, physical contact with Jesus. In this day and age, especially, we have understood how important contact and relationships are. The same goes for Jesus: sometimes we are content to observe some precept and repeat prayers—often like parrots—but the Lord expects us to meet Him, to open our hearts to Him, to touch His mantle like the woman to heal. Because, by entering into intimacy with Jesus, our affections are healed.
This is what Jesus wants. We read, in fact, that, despite being squeezed by the crowd, he looked around to look for the one who had touched him, narrowed; the disciples said, “But see that the crowd squeezes you…” No. “Who touched me?” It is the gaze of Jesus: there are so many people, but He goes in search of a face and a heart full of faith. Jesus does not look at the whole, as we do, he looks at the person. It does not stop at the wounds and mistakes of the past, it goes beyond sins and prejudices. We all have a story, and each of us secretly knows the bad things about ours well. But Jesus looks at them to heal them. On the other hand, we like to look at the bad of others… How many times, when we speak, do we fall into gossip that is to speak ill of others, to “skin” others. But look at what horizon of life that is. Not like Jesus who always looks at the way to save us, looks at today, the good will and not the bad history we have. Jesus goes beyond sins. Jesus goes beyond prejudice. It does not stay in appearances, Jesus reaches the heart. And he heals her precisely, whom everyone had rejected. With tenderness he calls her “daughter” (v. 34)—Jesus’ style was closeness, compassion and tenderness: “Daughter…”—and praises her faith, restoring her self-confidence.
Sister, brother, you are here, let Jesus look and heal your heart. I have to do it too: let Jesus look at my heart and heal it. And if you have already felt His tender gaze upon you, imitate Him, do as He does. Look around: you will see that many people who live near you feel hurt and alone, they need to feel loved: take the step. Jesus asks you for a look that does not remain in appearances, but reaches the heart; that he does not judge – let us finish judging the rest – Jesus asks us for a look that does not judge but welcomes. Let us open our hearts to welcome others. Because only love heals life, only love heals life. May Our Lady, Consolation of the afflicted, help us to bring a caress to the wounded, to the wounded in the heart that we find on our way. And not to judge, not to judge the personal, social reality of others. God loves everyone. Do not judge, let others live and try to approach each other with love.
After the Angelus
Dear brothers and sisters,
Today, as the feast of Saints Peter and Paul approaches, I ask you to pray for the Pope. Pray in a special way: the Pope needs your prayers! Thank you. I know you will.
On the occasion of the Day for Peace in the East, I invite everyone to implore God’s mercy and peace in that region. May the Lord sustain the efforts of all who work for dialogue and fraternal coexistence in the Middle East, where the Christian faith was born and is alive, despite suffering. May God always grant these dear peoples strength, perseverance and courage.
I assure you of my closeness to the inhabitants of the southeast of the Czech Republic, hit by a strong hurricane. I pray for the dead and wounded and for all those who have had to leave their badly damaged homes.
I cordially welcome all of you who have come from Rome, Italy and other countries, I see Poles, Spaniards, so many there and there… May your visit to the tombs of Saints Peter and Paul strengthen in you the love of Christ and the Church.
I wish you all a good Sunday and please do not forget to pray for me. Good lunch and see you soon.
Bravo for the boys of the Immaculate!