Pope Francis’ answer to ‘What is faith?’
.- The Pope focused on the virtue of faith during his Sunday Angelus address, saying the whole gospel is written in its light.
“Faith is this: to touch Jesus and to draw from him the grace which saves,” Pope Francis explained June 28 at St. Peter's Square, reflecting on the healing of a haemorrhaging woman in the day's Gospel reading. She believed that if she could but touch Christ's clothes, she would be healed.
“And so it is,” said Pope Francis. “The need to be freed drives her to dare, and faith 'snatches', so to speak, healing from the Lord.”
He waxed on the Gospel reading, saying that the Father, through Christ's healing, in a sense, said “Daughter, you are not cursed, you are not excluded, rather, you are my daughter!”
“And every time Jesus comes to us, when we go to him with faith, we hear this from the Father: 'You are my son, you are my daughter! You are healed, you are healed. I forgive all, all. I heal everyone and everything.'”
Pope Francis also discussed Christ's raising of a 12 year old girl who had died, saying that in her father's appeal to Jesus, we feel “the great faith which this man has in Jesus.”
Christ's reaction – “Do not fear, only have faith” – give courage, the Pope said. “He says to us, so often: 'Do not fear, only have faith!'”
“These two episodes – a healing and a raising from death – have a single center: faith. The message is clear, and can be summarized in one question: do we believe that Jesus can heal and can raise from the dead? The whole Gospel is written in the light of this faith: Jesus is risen, has conquered death, and because of this victory we too will be resurrected.”
Francis lamented that “this faith, which for the first Christians was secure, can tarnish and become uncertain, to the point that some confuse resurrection with reincarnation.”
“The word of God this Sunday invites us to live in the certainty of the resurrection: Jesus is the Lord, Jesus has power over evil and over death, and wants to take us to the Father's house, where life reigns. And there we will meet all, all of us in this square today, we will meet in the Father's house, in the life that Jesus gives us.”
He added that Christ's resurrection “acts in history as a principle of renewal and of hope. Anyone who is desperate and weary unto death, if they rely on Jesus and on his love, can begin to live again … faith is a force of life, it gives fullness to our humanity; and who believes in Christ must be recognized precisely because they promote life in all situations, so that everyone, especially the weakest, can experience the love of God which frees and saves.”
Concluding, Pope Francis said, “We ask the Lord, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, the gift of a strong and courageous faith, which drives us to speakers of hope and of life among our brethren.”