VATICAN CITY (CNS) — In every relationship, including one’s relationship with Jesus, it is important to remember that “first encounter,” that initial, life-changing moment of love, Pope Francis said.
Celebrating Mass April 24 in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae, Pope Francis used the first reading’s account of the conversion of St. Paul to begin a homily about a whole list of encounters Jesus had with individuals in the Gospels.
After John and Andrew met Jesus, they stayed with him “the whole evening” and became his disciples; Simon became Peter, the “rock” on which Jesus built his church; one man with leprosy healed by Jesus came back to thank him; and a woman was healed just by touching the hem of Jesus’ robe, the pope said.
“Look at the many stories there (in the Gospel) and see how Jesus encounters people, how he chooses the apostles — all the encounters with Jesus there,” the pope told the small congregation.
Catholics should read their Bibles, paying special attention to those stories of encounters and look at details that might be similar to their own meeting with Jesus even though “everyone has their own” story to tell.
“He never forgets, but we forget our encounter with Jesus,” the pope said. “This would be good homework: Think, ‘When did I really feel the Lord close to me? When did I feel I had to change my life or be better or forgive someone? When did I meet the Lord?'”
“This is a beautiful prayer and I recommend you do it every day,” the pope said. “And when you remember, rejoice in it because that memory is a memory of love.”
In a time of crisis CatholicPhilly.com keeps the information flowing
During the current coronavirus crisis, you can help CatholicPhilly.com deliver the kind of news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live ― every day.
Budgets are tight at this time, and CatholicPhilly's is no different than those of most families. We make sure your donation in any amount will go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103