Pope Francis Embraces a Modern Leper and the World is Drawn to its Knees
The moving encounter caught the attention of those in the square. The scenes of the tender embrace went viral.
By Deacon Keith Fournier
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Pope Francis kissed a modern day leper on Wednesday. The whole world is being drawn to its knees. I believe this a move of the Holy Spirit. I only pray that Christians will respond and seize the moment.Pope Francis, a man who moves in the Holy Spirit, responded to Jesus Christ on Wednesday. He left the pope mobile and embraced this man with the affection of a spiritual father. He kissed him with paternal tenderness. He recognized his beauty as a gift from God, the source of all beauty. He saw this man as the Father does and drew us to our knees. In so doing, he calls us all to conversion.
VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - On Wednesday, November 6, 2013, Pope Francis traveled through the crowd of the faithful gathered in St Peters square to hear his weekly catechesis. This is a tradition of the modern popes. Each, in their own manner and style, teach the Christian faithful on an aspect of living the Christian life.
The whole world paused in the face of an authentic witness of God's love and Mercy on Wednesday. The gates of hell were rattled. We all beheld the very heart of the Gospel of Jesus Christ spoken in a language much more powerful than words.
Francis usually delivers a simple and popular exposition on living the Christian life. He is a pastoral pope, a man who speaks in simple words and prophetic action. On Wednesday, after his beautiful address, he followed his customary practice of driving through the crowd in an open pope- mobile.
This is an evangelical Catholic Pope. He is a man deeply in love with Jesus Christ, the Living Word - and deeply in love with the people whom Jesus loves. He speaks with words and actions. Like his namesake, he is a word walking, a living testimony to the prophetic meaning of the Christian message.
Pope Francis saw a man in the crowd who was severely disfigured by neurofibromatosis. This is a debilitating disease which has devastating effects. The effects can include intense pain and suffering, vision problems, learning impediments, cancerous lesions and severe disfigurement.
The physical effects can sometimes render those afflicted with such severe disfigurement that people recoil from even being around them. This reaction is much akin to the reaction people had toward lepers during the life of Francis of Assisi. He was among them. He hated lepers and avoided them at all cost.
However, during the movement of God's grace which occasioned his profound conversion and commission, Francis confronted a leper. He was moved by the love of God to embrace and kiss this leper. When he did, the leper was revealed as Jesus Christ.This changed Francis and spawned a movement which changed history.
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