During his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis explained that those who follow Jesus always have a home: the Church, that, he added, welcomes anyone who is far from God.
"Jesus always makes us go back home. Jesus never leaves us alone in the streets. Just like in the Parables: the coin that was lost ends up in the purse of the woman, with the rest; and the lost sheep is taken back to stable with the others.”
The Pope concluded that it makes no sense to love God but reject the Church, since salvation means turning back home with Jesus to the Church.
EXCERPT OF THE POPE'S HOMILY
(Source: Vatican Radio)
"All the [noise and excitement created by the crowd gathered round the disciples, who had failed to liberate the boy], all the talk, ends in an act: Jesus lowers Himself [and] takes up the boy. These acts of Jesus make us think. When He heals, when He goes among the crowds and heals a person, He never leaves that person alone. He is not a wizard, a sorcerer, a "healer” who goes and [plies his trade] and is on his way: everyone [he helps], he helps to return to his proper place – He leaves no one on the side of the road. These acts of Jesus are very beautiful, indeed."
"Because Jesus did not only come from Heaven. He is the Son of a People. Jesus is the promise made to that People, which, beginning with Abraham, made its way toward the promise. These gestures of Jesus teach us that every healing, every [act of] pardon, always helps us return to our People, which is the Church."
"And these, Jesus’ gestures of so much tenderness make us realize this: that our doctrine, let us say, or our following Christ, is not an idea. It is a constant abiding at home – and though each of us has the opportunity and the real experience of leaving home for a sin, a mistake - God knows - salvation [means] going home with Jesus in the Church. These are gestures of tenderness. One by one, the Lord is calling us as well, to His people, into His family, our mother, the Holy Church. Let us think on these acts of Jesus.”