Catholic World News

Imitate Christ’s compassion for the sick, Pope tells faithful

February 16, 2015

During his February 15 Angelus address, Pope Francis reflected on the healing of the leper (Mk. 1:40-45) and called upon the faithful to imitate Christ’s compassion.

“Christ's heart manifests the paternal compassion of God for that man, coming close to him and touching him,” the Pope said. “The mercy of God overcomes every obstacle and the hand of Jesus touches the leper. He does not arise from a safe distance and does not act by proxy, but exposes Himself directly to the infection of our evil; and so our own evil becomes the place of contact.”

“He, Jesus, takes from us our sick humanity, and we take from Him his healthy and healing humanity,” the Pope continued. “This happens every time we receive a sacrament of faith: the Lord Jesus ‘touches’ us and gives us His grace. In this case, we think especially of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which heals us from the leprosy of sin.”

“To become imitators of Christ in front of a poor or sick person, we should not be afraid to look them in the eyes, to come close to them with tenderness and compassion, and to touch them and embrace them,” he added. “I ask you: When you help others, do you look them in the eyes? Do you receive them without fear of touching them? Do you receive them with tenderness? Think of this: how do you help? From a distance or with tenderness, with closeness?”


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