VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis concluded the Angelus this Valentine’s Day by giving his “best wishes” to couples who are engaged and in love. “Today, Valentine’s Day – he said – we cannot fail to address a thought and a wish to engaged couples, to people who are in love: I accompany them with my prayers and bless them.”
He dedicated another thought and his “gratitude” to those who “collaborate in favour of migrants”. Today in particular, he added, for the bishops of Colombia for the decision of the national authorities to issue a new statute in favour of the migrants of Venezuela.
Previously, before the recitation of the Marian prayer, Francis returned to look out of the window on St. Peter’s Square – “how beautiful the square with the sun”, he commented – to a thousand people present he spoke of the episode of the Gospel in which a leper he approaches Jesus, who touches and heals him, overcoming those social conventions that even today create isolation.
“In this episode we can see two ‘transgressions’ that meet: the leper who approaches Jesus and Jesus who, moved with compassion, touches him to heal him”. Leprosy, seen as a divine punishment, in fact excluded from any social contact. “Jesus, on the other hand, lets himself be approached by that man, he is moved, even extends his hand and touches him. Thus, he realizes the Good News that he announces: God has made himself close to our life, has compassion for the fate of wounded humanity and comes to break down every barrier that prevents us from living a relationship with him, with others and with us. themselves “.
“With this gesture – he underlined – Jesus shows that God who is not indifferent does not keep Himself at a ‘safe distance’; indeed, He approaches with compassion and touches our life to heal it. Closeness, compassion, tenderness: these three words contain God’s style. He is a great transgressor, in this sense.”
“Even today – Francis said – in the world many of our brothers suffer from this disease, or from other diseases and conditions which unfortunately are associated with a social prejudice”. “But each of us can happen to experience wounds, failures, sufferings, selfishness that close us to God and to others. Because sin closes us in on ourselves. In the face of all this, Jesus announces to us that God is not an abstract idea or doctrine, but the One who ‘contaminates’ himself with our wounded humanity and is not afraid to come into contact with our wounds “. By ‘contaminating himself’, God made himself sin, he who cannot sin “.
“To respect the rules of good reputation and social habits, we often silence pain or wear masks that disguise it. To balance the calculations of our selfishness or the inner laws of our fears, we do not get too involved in the sufferings of others. Instead, let us ask the Lord for the grace to live these two ‘transgressions’ of today’s Gospel. That of the leper, because we have the courage to come out of our isolation and, instead of staying there to pity or mourn our failures, we go to Jesus as we are. Lord I’m like that. We will feel that embrace, that embrace of Jesus, which is so beautiful. And then the transgression of Jesus: a love that makes us go beyond conventions, which overcomes prejudices and the fear of mixing with the life of the other “.
The gesture of Jesus gave Francis an inspiration for those “good confessors who do not carry a whip in their hand, but only to receive, listen, and say that God is good and that God always forgives, that God never tires of forgiving. I ask all of you here today in the square, everyone, to applaud these merciful confessors.”