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Pope at Angelus: Jesus heals our hearts wounded from lack of love

At the Angelus address on Sunday, Pope Francis recalls that Jesus goes beyond our sins and prejudices to heal our heart from the wounds and mistakes of the past.

By Devin Watkins

Pope Francis prayed the Angelus on Sunday with pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square, and reflected on the day’s Gospel (Mk 5:21-42).

The Pope said Jesus encounters two dramatic situations in this passage, which speak to us about death and disease.

“Jesus lets Himself be touched by our suffering and our death,” he said, “and He works two signs of healing to tell us that neither suffering nor death have the last word.”

Health and affections

Since illness is still at the center of our attention due to the pandemic, Pope Francis focused his remarks especially on the healing of the woman with hemorrhages.

“More than her health,” he noted, “her affections were compromised: she had blood loss and therefore, according to the mindset of the time, she was deemed impure.”

All this meant that she was marginalized and left without the possibility of a husband or a family. “She lived alone, with a wounded heart.”

The Pope pointed out that the “most serious illness in life is a lack of love, and not being able to love.”

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Useless searching for love

He then reflected on how we can find healing in this story of a nameless woman who represents us all.

She had spent lots of money on various ineffective treatments which only made her condition worse. The Pope lamented that we, too, seek useless remedies for our lack of love, throwing ourselves into vain searches for success and money, even looking online.

But, he added, the woman finally chose to seek direct, physical contact with Jesus.

“The Lord waits for us to encounter Him,” said the Pope, “to open our hearts to Him, for us, like the woman, to touch His garment in order to heal. Because, by growing in intimacy with Jesus, we are healed in our affections.”

Seeking Jesus’ healing gaze

Pope Francis pointed out that Jesus responds favorably to the woman’s touch, seeking her out of the pressing crowd.

“This is Jesus’ gaze: there are many people, but He goes in search of a face and a heart full of faith. He does not look at the whole, but at the individual.”

The Pope added that Jesus “does not stop at the wounds and mistakes of the past, but goes beyond sins and prejudices” to reach the heart.

Jesus, he said, heals precisely that woman who had been rejected by everyone, praising her faith and calling her “daughter”.

Love alone heals life

Finally, Pope Francis encouraged everyone to “let Jesus look at and heal your heart.”

If we have already experienced His gaze, then we should turn to those around us who may feel wounded and alone to show them love.

“Jesus asks you for a gaze that does not stop at the outward appearance, but that goes to the heart: a gaze not judgmental, but welcoming,” he said, “Because love alone heals life.”

27 June 2021, 12:11

The Angelus is a special prayer recited by Catholics three times a day, at 6am, noon, and 6pm and is accompanied by the ringing of the Angelus bell. The name comes from the Latin word for Angel and the prayer itself reminds us of how Jesus Christ assumed our human nature through the Mystery of the Incarnation.
The Pope recites the Angelus prayer in St Peter’s Square every Sunday at midday.
He also gives a brief reflection on the Gospel of the day and often comments on some issue of international concern. The Pope’s words are broadcast all over the world on radio and television and widely shared on social media.
From Easter to Pentecost the Regina Coeli is prayed instead of the Angelus. This prayer commemorates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and, like the Angelus, concludes with the recitation of the Gloria three times.

Latest Angelus / Regina Coeli

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