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Pope Francis reflects on Christ’s healing of the leper

June 22, 2016

Continuing his series of Wednesday catecheses on mercy, Pope Francis devoted his June 15 general audience to Christ’s healing of a leper (Lk. 5:12-14).

“As we know, lepers were considered unclean and bound by law to avoid contact with others,” Pope Francis told the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square, according to the official English-language synthesis of his remarks. “Saint Luke tells us that one leper, moved by faith, did not fear to pass among the crowds and beg Jesus to cleanse him.”

“If this leper broke the law, Jesus did likewise by touching the man and cleansing him of the disease,” the Pope continued. “The Lord’s example teaches us not to be afraid to reach out and touch the poor and the needy in our midst.”

The Pope added:

Significantly, the encounter does not end there. Jesus tells the healed leper to present himself to the priest to make the prescribed offering, and as a testimony to his healing. In this way, he shows us that his miracles of healing aim at the rehabilitation of sinners and that true faith bears fruit in witness.

The Lord invites each of us to feel our own need and to ask for his healing touch. Like the leper, may we turn to Jesus in faith and let our lives proclaim his gifts of mercy, forgiveness and spiritual rebirth.


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