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Pope in Santa Marta: Our faith is about an encounter with Jesus

In his Friday morning Mass, Pope Francis talked about the relationship between God and Christians. At its very core, he explained, the faith is about having an encounter with Jesus and keeping that memory present in one's heart and mind. POPE FRANCIS "He never forgets, but we do forget our encounters with Christ. This would be a good assignment to do at home, to consider: â??When have I really felt that the Lord was close to me? When have I felt the need to change my life, or to become better, or to forgive someone? When have I felt the Lord asking something of me? When have I encountered the Lord?â?? Because our faith is an encounter with Jesus.â?  He then called on Christians to read Bible passages where Jesus encounters His flock.    SUMMARY OF POPE'S HOMILY (Source: Vatican Radio)  "Jesus never forgets the day we encountered Him for the first time; we should ask God for the "grace of memoryâ? so that we can always remember it. That was the Popeâ??s hope for us in the homily at Mass on Friday morning at the Casa Santa Marta. An encounter is the means chosen by Jesus to change lives. A good example of this is Paul of Tarsus, the anti-Christian persecutor who, by the time he reached Damascus, had already become an Apostle. Pope Francis spoke about the celebrated episode in the first reading of the dayâ??s liturgy, and related it to the many encounters that appear in the Gospel narratives. More precisely, Francis considered the "first encounterâ? with Jesus â?? the encounter that "changes the lifeâ? of those who meet Him: John and Andrew, who stayed with the Master throughout the night; Simon who immediately became "the rockâ? of the new community; and then the Samaritan, the leper who returned to thank Jesus for healing him, the sick woman who was healed when she touched Christâ??s tunic: these, the Pope said, are decisive encounters that should prompt a Christian to never forget his own first encounter with Christ.â?