Pope Francis: let Jesus’ gaze change our hearts
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis says each of us should ask Jesus to gaze at us and tell us what we need to do to change our hearts and repent for our sins. We should consider whether Jesus looks at us with a call, with a pardon or with a mission? The Pope’s remarks came during his homily at morning Mass on Friday (May 22nd) at the Santa Marta residence.
Taking his inspiration from the day’s readings, Pope Francis’ homily was a reflection on the three different types of looks which Jesus gave to the Apostle Peter. He said these three different looks were one of choosing, one of forgiveness and one of mission.
The Pope recalled how according to the gospel reading the apostle Andrew told his brother Peter that they had found the Messiah and took him to see Jesus. Christ looked at him and said “You are Simon, son of John. You will be called Peter (Cephas) which means Rock.” He said Peter was enthusiastic after that first look from Jesus and wanted to follow our Lord.
Moving ahead to the night before Jesus’ crucifixion, Pope Francis recalled how Peter disowned him three times and when Jesus turned and looked straight at him after that third denial, Peter wept.
“The gospel of Luke says: ‘He wept bitterly.’ That earlier enthusiasm about following Jesus had turned to grief, because he had sinned: He denied that he knew Jesus.That look (by Jesus) changed Peter’s heart, more than before. The first change was being given a new name and a new vocation. That second look was a gaze that changed his heart and it’s a change of conversion to love.”
The Pope said the third look that Jesus gave Peter was one of mission when he asked three times for a confirmation that Peter loved him and urged him to feed his sheep. He noted how the gospel recounts that Peter was hurt when Jesus asked him that question a third time.
“Hurt because Jesus asked him for the third time ‘Do you love me?’ and he said: ‘Lord, You know everything: You know I love you.’ Jesus replied: ‘Feed my sheep.’ This was the third look, a look of mission. The first, a look of choosing, with the enthusiasm of following Jesus: the second, a look of repentance at the time of that very grave sin of having disowned Jesus: the three look is one of mission: ‘Feed my lambs,’ ‘Look after my sheep,’ ‘Feed my sheep.’”
Pope Francis urged his listeners to re-read that dialogue with the Lord and think about Jesus’ gaze on us.
“We too can reflect: what look is Jesus giving me today? How is Jesus looking at me? With a call? With a pardon? With a mission? But on the path He created, all of us are being looked at by Jesus. He always looks at us with love. He asks us something, he forgives us for something and he gives us a mission. Jesus is now coming on the altar. May each one of us think: ‘Lord, You are here, among us. Fix your gaze on me and tell me what I must do: how I must repent for my mistakes, my sins; what courage do I need to go forward on the path that You first created.”