Pope Francis General Audience June 22: Reach out and touch

In his general audience today, Pope Francis focused on Christ’s cleansing of the leper and our need to both let ourselves be healed by Christ and reach out in turn to touch others.

According to Vatican Radio:

As Jesus reached out and touched the unclean man, he said, so we must never be afraid to reach out and touch the poor and those most in need. At the same time, he said, the Lord invites each of us to feel our own need and to ask for his healing touch.

Please see below the English summary of the Pope’s words at his Wednesday General Audience

Dear Brothers and Sisters:  In our continuing catechesis for this Holy Year of Mercy, we now consider Jesus’ healing of the leper (Lk 5:12-14).  As we know, lepers were considered unclean and bound by law to avoid contact with others. 

St. Luke tells us that one leper, moved by faith, did not fear to pass among the crowds and beg Jesus to cleanse him.  If this leper broke the law, Jesus did likewise by touching the man and cleansing him of the disease.  The Lord’s example teaches us not to be afraid to reach out and touch the poor and the needy in our midst. 

Significantly, the encounter does not end there.  Jesus tells the healed leper to present himself to the priest to make the prescribed offering, and as a testimony to his healing.  In this way, he shows us that his miracles of healing aim at the rehabilitation of sinners and that true faith bears fruit in witness. 

The Lord invites each of us to feel our own need and to ask for his healing touch.  Like the leper, may we turn to Jesus in faith and let our lives proclaim his gifts of mercy, forgiveness and spiritual rebirth.

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