The Word Among Us

Personal Spirituality Resources

“Heal This Wound, Lord!”

The Gospel is the word of Jesus, through which he preaches to us and heals us.

By: Pope Francis

“Heal This Wound, Lord!”: The Gospel is the word of Jesus, through which he preaches to us and heals us. by Pope Francis

On leaving the synagogue [Jesus] entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John. Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever.

They immediately told him about her. He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up. Then the fever left her and she waited on them.

When it was evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons. The whole town was gathered at the door. He cured many who were sick with various diseases, and he drove out many demons, not permitting them to speak because they knew him.

Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed. Simon and those who were with him pursued him and on finding him said, “Everyone is looking for you.” He told them, “Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come.” So he went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons throughout the whole of Galilee. (Mark 1:29-39)

This is what Jesus’ life was like: “He went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons” (Mark 1:39). Jesus who preaches and Jesus who heals. The whole day was like this: preaching to the people, teaching the law, teaching the gospel. And the people look for him to listen to him and also because he heals the sick. “That evening, at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. . . . And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons” (Mark 1:32, 34).

We could ask ourselves whether we let Jesus preach to us. Each one of us: “Do I let Jesus preach to me, or [do] I know all? Do I listen to Jesus or do I prefer to listen to something else, perhaps people’s gossip, or stories?” Listening to Jesus. Listening to Jesus’ preaching. “How can I do this, Father? On which TV channel does Jesus speak?” He speaks to you in the Gospel! And this is an attitude that we still do not have: to go to seek the word of Jesus in the Gospel. To always carry a Gospel with us, a small one, or to have one at our fingertips. Five minutes, ten minutes. When I am traveling or when I have to wait . . . , I take the Gospel from my pocket, or from my bag and I read something; or at home. And Jesus speaks to me, Jesus preaches to me there.

It is the word of Jesus. And we have to get accustomed to this: to hear the word of Jesus, to listen to the word of Jesus in the Gospel. To read a passage, think a bit about what it says, what it is saying to me. If I don’t feel it is speaking to me, I move to another. But to have this daily contact with the Gospel, to pray with the Gospel, because this way Jesus preaches to me; he says with the Gospel what he wants to tell me. I know people who always carry it, and when they have a little time, they open it, and this way they always find the right word for the moment they are living in. This is the first thing I wanted to say to you: let the Lord preach to you. Listen to the Lord.

And Jesus heals: let yourselves be healed by Jesus. We all have wounds, everyone: spiritual wounds, sins, hostility, jealousy; perhaps we don’t say hello to someone: “Ah, he did this to me, I won’t acknowledge him anymore.” But this needs to be healed! “How do I do it?” Pray and ask that Jesus heal it. It’s sad in a family when siblings don’t speak to each other for a small matter, because the devil takes a small matter and makes a world of it. Then hostilities go on, oftentimes for many years, and that family is destroyed. Parents suffer because their children don’t speak to each other, or one son’s wife doesn’t speak to the other, and thus, with jealousy, envy. . . . The devil sows this. And the only One who casts out demons is Jesus. The only One who heals these matters is Jesus. For this reason I say to each one of you: let yourself be healed by Jesus.

Each one knows where his wounds are. Each one of us has them; we don’t have only one: two, three, four, twenty. Each one knows! May Jesus heal those wounds. But for this I must open my heart, in order that he may come. How do I open my heart? By praying. “But Lord, I can’t with those people over there. I hate them. They did this, this, and this. . . . ” “Heal this wound, Lord.” If we ask Jesus for this grace, he will do it.

Let yourself be healed by Jesus. Let Jesus heal you. Let Jesus preach to you and let him heal you. This way I can even preach to others, to teach the words of Jesus, because I let him preach to me; and I can also help heal many wounds, the many wounds that there are. But first I have to do it: let him preach to me and heal me.

— Homily, Pastoral Visit to the Roman Parish San Michele Arcangelo a Pietralata, February 8, 2015