Many pilgrims looked shocked as they watched a sick patient being brought on a stretcher, so that the Pope could bless and greet people who accompanied him.
It was moments before Pope Francis began a new general audience in which he explained the origin of the Jubilee in the Old Testament. It was celebrated every 50 years and was a time of "general amnesty when debts were canceled and the land restituted to their owners.”
"The goal was a society based on equality and solidarity, where freedom, land and money to become a good for everyone, not just for some, as is the case now.”
Pope Francis said that today's wealth is controlled by a few and said that a concrete way to live the Jubilee is by living fraternity and giving to those in need.
"Jubilee is to transform, so that our hearts get bigger, more generous, more filled with the love of God. But I tell you one thing. If this desire, if the Jubilee does not reach your bank account then it is not a true Jubilee. Is this understood?”
Pope Francis recalled that the Jubilee originally reminded people that everything belongs to God. We are all brothers and we should not subject our neighbor to misery.
"And often, in desperation, many men end in suicide because they fail and don't have hope. They don't find a helping hand but a hand that asks them to pay interest. FLASH. The biblical message is clear: open up courageously and share. This is mercy. And if we want God to be merciful to us it must come from us first.”
Pope Francis concluded by calling for prayers for his meeting with the Patriarch of Moscow on Friday, in Cuba, and for his next trip to Mexico.