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Pope Francis addresses the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square for the Angelus Prayer  Pope Francis addresses the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square for the Angelus Prayer   (AFP or licensors)

Pope: Jesus' liberating action for a suffering humanity

Pope Francis on Sunday reflected on the Gospel reading of the day and invited the Church to continue to go forth into the world bringing Jesus's salvific message to a suffering humanity.

By Linda Bordoni

Pope Francis on Sunday reflected on how the miracles performed by Jesus awaken the faith and urged his followers to put themselves at the service of the Lord and of others.

The Pope’s reflections came during his catechesis during the Sunday Angelus as he addressed those present in St. Peter’s Square.

Miracles intend to arouse faith
 

Francis took his cue from the Gospel reading of the day which describes a Sabbath in the life of Jesus when he lived in Capernaum. He said that through healing the sick, the Lord invited those present to respond. By his healing actions he wanted to arouse faith, and he explained that the healing of the body aims at healing the heart.

The Pope said that miracles contain an exhortation for every believer in the sense that “once one is freed from the grips of evil and has regained his or her strength following the intervention of Jesus” one is invited to put him or herself at the Lord’s service.

He also pointed out that in the reading the people of the town crowded in front of the house where Jesus lived, bringing to Him the sick.

Jesus's liberating and renewing action is for a suffering humanity  
 

“The crowd, marked by physical suffering and spiritual misery, constitutes, so to speak, ‘the vital environment’ in which Jesus' mission is accomplished, a mission made of words and gestures that heal and console” he said.

It is the image, the Pope continued, of a humanity that is scarred by suffering, labor and problems, and it is to this poor humanity that Jesus’s powerful, liberating and renewing action is directed.

Francis also commented on how Jesus finds a secluded place in which to pray, thus subtracting his person and his mission from “a triumphalist vision that misinterprets the meaning of miracles and their charismatic power”.

Miracles, he said, are always “signs” that require the response of faith; they are signs that are accompanied by words that enlighten us and together “arouse faith and lead to conversion thanks to the divine power of the grace of Christ”.

 

Church must continue to 'go forth'
 

The Pope concluded noting that today's passage also tells us that that Jesus' proclamation of the Kingdom of God is to be found best outside, in the streets, and he invited the Church to continue to go forth bringing its mission and its salvific message into the world – always - he stressed: in movement, never still!

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04 February 2018, 13:40