By Linda Bordoni
Pope Francis on Sunday reflected on Jesus as the source of life, of He who restores life to those who trust in Him.
Taking his cue from the Gospel of Mark that tells of two miracles in which a girl is raised from death and a woman is healed, the Pope said faith is at the center of both of them and he highlighted that no one is excluded from the Lord’s saving love.
No one is an intruder
"Nobody should feel that they are an intruder, illegal, or someone who is not entitled to have access to Jesus’ heart” he said: “there is only one requirement, and that is to feel in need of healing and to entrust oneself fully to Him”.
Jesus, the Pope explained, recognizes the people in the crowd who have faith and yearn for healing and he “removes them from anonymity, frees them from the fear of living and daring”.
He does so with a word or with a glance, he said, putting them back on the path after so much suffering and humiliation.
The death of a hardened heart
And urging the faithful not to be afraid of physical death, the Pope said the only death one should fear is that of “a hardened heart”.
He recalled the Gospel passage in which the woman who suffered from bleeding was healed "as soon as she touched Jesus’ cloak” and said that faith leads to salvation.
“The faith of this woman attracted the divine salvific power that exists in Christ" he continued, and commenting on the episode of the little girl whom everyone believed to be dead, the Pope said “Jesus said: “the child is not dead, she is asleep” and He said to her: "Little girl, I say to you: arise!”.
Sin is never the last word
In this page of the Gospel, Francis pointed out, “the themes of faith and new life" that Jesus comes to offer us all are interwoven”:
Jesus is the Lord, and for Him physical death is like sleep: there is no reason to despair. The death to be afraid of is a different one: it is that of the heart hardened by evil! But even sin, for Jesus, is never the last word, because He brought us the infinite mercy of the Father. And even though we may have fallen down, his tender and strong voice reaches us saying: "I say to you: arise!
Pope Francis concluded his catechesis with the words: “Let us ask Our Lady to accompany us on our journey of faith and concrete love, especially towards those in need.”