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Our relationship with God is the essence of life

Friday, 17 January 2020



Asking for forgiveness is the medicine to heal diseases of the soul, Pope Francis told the faithful during his homily for Mass at Santa Marta on Friday, 17 January. Commenting on the miracle of the healing of the paralytic in the Gospel of Mark, he pointed out that before ordering him to stand up, Jesus first addressed a few words to him: “your sins are forgiven”. Jesus focused on the essential because, although he heals, the Pope said, he is a man of God, not a medicine man and although Jesus teaches, he is much more than a teacher.

Pope Francis then offered more examples of Jesus’ essential message such as the episode of the sinful and weeping woman to whom Jesus says the same: “your sins are forgiven”, and the sick man who did not get out of the pool on time to be healed to whom Jesus says: “Do not sin anymore”. Thus, what is essential, the Pope explained, is our relationship with God. “We often forget this as if afraid of an encounter with the Lord”. While we do a lot for our physical health, he added, which is a gift that we should preserve, we must also preserve our spiritual health, the health of our hearts. The Pope noted that we grow so accustomed to this medicine of forgiveness that it becomes watered down and loses the strength and power of the prophesy of Jesus. This can result in people not finding any sins to confess due to a “lack of awareness of sins” and of the value of the medicine of forgiveness required to heal these sins. Remembering Jesus’ words to the paralytic today, can help us focus on what is essential, he concluded: Jesus is telling us: “I want to forgive your sins”. This is what he came for and what he gave up his life for.

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