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Pope at general audience: "The Christian does not exclude anyone, he has room for everyone"

2016-06-22

During the general audience, the Pope continued to reflect on the miracles of Jesus. He recalled the healing of a leper, who Christ touches without fear of the contagiousness of the disease or breaking the social conventions of the time. While surrounded by refugees, the Pope said the same happens today with them: people consider refugees, like the leper, excluded. "The Christian does not exclude anyone. He has room for everyone,” he said.

SUMMARY OF THE CATECHESIS IN ENGLISH: 

Dear Brothers and Sisters:  

In our continuing catechesis for this Holy Year of Mercy, we now consider Jesus’ healing of the leper (Lk 5:12-14). As we know, lepers were considered unclean and bound by law to avoid contact with others. Saint Luke tells us that one leper, moved by faith, did not fear to pass among the crowds and beg Jesus to cleanse him.  If this leper broke the law, Jesus did likewise by touching the man and cleansing him of the disease. The Lord’s example teaches us not to be afraid to reach out and touch the poor and the needy in our midst. Significantly, the encounter does not end there. Jesus tells the healed leper to present himself to the priest to make the prescribed offering, and as a testimony to his healing. In this way, he shows us that his miracles of healing aim at the rehabilitation of sinners and that true faith bears fruit in witness.  The Lord invites each of us to feel our own need and to ask for his healing touch. Like the leper, may we turn to Jesus in faith and let our lives proclaim his gifts of mercy, forgiveness and spiritual rebirth.

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, particularly those from England, Scotland, Sweden, China and the United States of America. In a special way I greet the many student groups present. With prayerful good wishes that the present Jubilee of Mercy will be a moment of grace and spiritual renewal for you and your families, I invoke upon all of you joy and peace in our Lord Jesus Christ.