Today, as Pope Francis made his rounds in the popemobile at the General Audience, he especially reached out to children, kissing each child on the head as he passed by and even physically reached out to the crowd. He also took a moment to try one of his favorite traditional Argentine drinks, mate.
During the audience, the pope reflected on the Gospel passage of the woman who suffered from hemorrhages and was wrongly rejected by society. She only wanted to touch Jesus' cloak to be healed. He commented on her incredible faith and courage to do so, which saved her in the end.
"How much faith...how much faith did this woman have! The desire to be saved by Jesus is such that it goes beyond the requirements laid down by the law of Moses. For many years, this poor woman is not simply sick, but is considered impure because she was suffering from a hemorrhage.”
The pope warned of the prejudice and discrimination she experienced, which continues against women in the world today, even in Christian communities.
Instead of continuing this pattern of rejection, Jesus invited the woman to himself, confirming her dignity as a person and a child of God. The pope said this is how people should also act.
"The Lord says courage; come! To me, you are not discarded, or a discard. Courage, daughter. You are a child, a daughter, and this is the time of grace, the moment of forgiveness, the time of being included in the life of Jesus, in the life of the Church. This is the time of mercy.”
Pope Francis applied the example of the unnamed woman to the lives of everyone, saying that while all are sinners, the Lord is ready to forgive, embrace and heal everyone.
"Today all of us are sinners, great sinners, small sinners, but all sinners, eh? The Lord tells us courage, come! You are not discarded anymore. You are not discarded anymore. I forgive you. I embrace you. This is the mercy of God. We must have true courage and we must go to him to ask for forgiveness for our sins. After, we must move forward with courage like this woman did.”
The pope said her encounter with Jesus returned her to health, freed her from social and religious discrimination; and gave her hope in her heart, canceling her fears and despair.