MASS AT ST MARTHA’S HOUSE, BERGOGLIO: ”FAITH IS A GIFT. YOU CANNOT BUY IT” Commenting on the passage from the Gospel of Mark on the healed paralytic, the Pope has invited to look at Jesus who forgives our sins

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When we come close to Christ we do not think about the risks we run, just to be able to listen to him or touch him. This sums up the message of the Pope’s homily in the morning Mass at St Martha’s House. In the passage of the Gospel of Mark, which tells us about the healing of the paralytic in Capernaum, there were so many people who wanted to attend Jesus’ preaching. “They had faith – Bergoglio has said – also the lady who, in the crowd when Jesus was going to Jairus, arranged to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment, Jesus’ robe, to be healed. “The same is true for the healing of the centurion’s servant. “A strong and brave faith, which keeps going – he has said stressing – is a heart open to faith.”

In the story from the Gospel “Jesus goes a step further.” In Nazareth, at the beginning of his ministry, “he went to the Synagogue and said he had been sent to free the oppressed, the prisoners, give sight to the blind… and inaugurate a year of grace,” that is a year “of forgiveness, of coming closer to the Lord. Inaugurate a path towards God. “Here, however, he does not only heal the sick, but also redeems them. “There were people whose heart was closed, but they accepted – up to a point – that Jesus was a healer. But forgiving sins is a strong act! This man does more than that! He has no right to say this, because only God can forgive sins and Jesus knew what they were thinking and said: Not ‘I am God”, but ‘Why do you think those things? Because you know that the Son of Man has the power – this is the breakthrough! – to forgive sins. Get up, take, and heal’. He begins to speak a language that at some point will discourage people, some of the disciples who followed him … this language is harsh when he tells them about eating His Body as a way of salvation.”

The Pope invites us to ask ourselves if faith in Jesus really changes our lives. “We understand – the Holy Father has said – that Jesus came to save us and lead us to the Father. He ‘was sent for that, to give his life for our salvation. And this is the most difficult thing to understand “, not only for the scribes. When God manifests with a power greater than that of a man “to give that forgiveness, to give life, to recreate humanity, even his disciples doubt. And they leave”. And Jesus, he has reminded, “has to ask His small group: ‘Do you want to go away as well?'”

“Faith in Jesus Christ. How is my faith in Jesus Christ? Do I believe that Jesus Christ is God, the Son of God? And is this faith life-changing for me? Does it make this year of grace, year of forgiveness, this year of coming closer to God begin in my heart? – The Pope has asked -. Faith is a gift. Nobody ‘deserves’ faith. No one can buy it. It is a gift. Does ‘my’ faith in Jesus Christ lead me to humiliation? I do not mean humility: humiliation, repentance, pleading prayer: ‘Forgive me, Lord. You are God. You ‘can’ forgive my sins.”

The test of our faith, according to Bergoglio, is the ability to praise God the Lord, was Pope Francis’ invocation, “will make us grow in faith.” People, he has noted, “were looking for Jesus to hear Him” because he spoke “with authority, not like the scribes.” They followed Him, he added, because he healed, “he works miracles!”. But in the end, “these people, after seeing this, went away and they were all amazed and glorified God”:

“Praise. The proof that I believe that Jesus Christ is God in my life, that He was sent to me to ‘forgive me’, is His praise: if I have ability to praise God. Praise the Lord. It is gratuitous. Praise is gratuitous. It is a feeling the Holy Spirit gives you and it makes you say: ‘You are the only God’. May the Lord make us grow in faith in Jesus Christ God who forgives us and offers us the year of grace, and this faith leads us to praise.”

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