The Pope concluded his sermon by exhorting the gathering to not be afraid of fixing their gaze on Jesus.

Pope Francis called on the faithful to work hard for the poor not for fame or popularity, but out of love for people themselves. He reminded the gathering that Jesus was always with the people, and was not bothered about gaining popularity. The Pope said these words on Tuesday at homily during a Mass at Casa Santa Marta.

The Pope said Jesus doesn’t look at us as a “multitude.” Instead, he looks at each person individually. He asked the faithful to focus all attention on Jesus, and assured them they will discover how Jesus looks upon each person lovingly. The Pope was clearly asking Catholics to stay away from the lure of fame and extravagance and calling them to lead a life of simplicity and humility. He added that Jesus was not surrounded by bodyguards to protect him because he wanted to be one with the people and wanted them to touch him and know him better.

The Pope drew parallels with the modern trend of rating a person’s popularity by saying Jesus would have not bothered one bit even if popularity statisticians would release statements like “’Rabbi Jesus’ popularity is falling.” According to Pope Francis, Jesus’ focus was only on the people and not on fame. He says that the people fixed their gaze on him, and he fixed his gaze on them – and that was all he was concerned with.

The Pope pointed out at the incident where a woman who had hemorrhages for 12 years touches Jesus’ cloak with the belief she would be healed. Instead of driving her away, Jesus praised her faith and healed her. This, according to Pope Francis, is one of the finest examples of Jesus’ love of being one with the crowds. In another instance, Jesus raises the daughter of a synagogue leader from the dead, and the first thing he says after she comes back to life is “Give her something to eat, she is hungry.” This shows Jesus’ understanding of the basic needs of the people he was ministering to.

The Pope concluded his sermon by exhorting the gathering to not be afraid of fixing their gaze on Jesus. He urged the people to reach out to touch the mantle of Christ without any fear, just as the woman in the crowd. He promises the faithful that eventually they will be surprised to see that it is he who has his eyes fixed on them.

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