03/19/2023, 12.55
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Pope: God restores dignity even in difficulties

At the Angelus, commenting on the passage of the healing of the man born blind, Francis invites the faithful to "know how to see the good, without scattering criticism and suspicion." His wish for all fathers: "May St. Joseph be for you a model, support and comfort."

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "When Jesus heals us, he restores our dignity, our full dignity that regards every aspect of our life," and this frees us from "fear of what others will say," Pope Francis recalled today as he addressed the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square for the Angelus prayer.

Commenting on the passage of the healing of the blind man, recounted in chapter 9 of John's Gospel and proposed today by the liturgy, the pontiff invited us to dwell on the "bad way" in which Jesus' miracle is received by various people and groups.

From disciples to neighbors, from scribes to parents, in all the reactions "closed hearts greet Jesus' actions, for different reasons: because they are looking for a culprit, because they do not know how to be surprised, because they do not want to change, because they are blocked by fear."

By contrast, the only one who reacts well is the blind man: happy to see, he testifies to what happened to him in the simplest way: 'I was blind and now I can see.'

"Before," the pope commented, "he was forced to beg and suffered people's prejudices. Now, free in body and spirit, he bears witness to Jesus: he invents nothing and hides nothing. He is not afraid of what others will say: he has already known the bitter taste of marginalization all his life; he has already felt the indifference and contempt of passers-by, of those who regarded him as a reject of society, useful at best for the pietism of a few alms. Now, healed, he no longer fears those contemptuous attitudes, because Jesus has given him full dignity."

Hence the invitation to the faithful to ask themselves, "Like the blind man, do we know how to see the good and be grateful for the gifts we receive? What does my dignity look like? Do we witness to Jesus or do we spread criticism and suspicion?  Are we happy to say that Jesus loves us and saves us or, like the parents of the blind man born, do we allow ourselves to be caged by fear of what people will think? Moreover, how do we welcome people who have physical limitations or beggars on the street? As curses or as opportunities to make ourselves close to them with love?"

"Let us ask for the grace to be amazed every day at God's gifts," the pope concluded, "and to see the various circumstances of life, even the most difficult to accept, as opportunities to do good, as Jesus did with the blind man.

At the end of the Angelus prayer Francis recalled Ecuador, which was struck by an earthquake that caused deaths, injuries and extensive damage: "I am close and I assure my prayers," he said.

Then inviting people to recite the Our Father for them, the pontiff greeted fathers on the feast of St. Joseph. "May they find in him the model, support and comfort to live their fatherhood well," he added.

Finally, also on this Sunday, he urged not to forget and to pray for "the martyred Ukrainian people who continue to suffer from the crimes of war."

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