Pope Francis said the Gospel is asking us to imagine ourselves in the same scene, so that we might ask what our own reaction would be.
“What would we have said then? And above all, what would we do today? Like the blind man, do we know how to see the good and to be grateful for the gifts we receive?” he said.
He added: “Do we bear witness to Jesus, or do we spread criticism and suspicion instead? Are we free when faced with prejudices or do we associate ourselves with those who spread negativity and gossip? Are we happy to say that Jesus loves us and saves us, or, like the parents of the man born blind, do we allow ourselves to be caged in by the fear of what others will think?”
Or are we, he continued, “the lukewarm of heart who do not accept reality, and do not have the courage to say: ‘No, this is how it is.’”
After praying the Angelus, Pope Francis expressed his closeness to the people of Ecuador, who were hit by a 6.4-magnitude earthquake on Saturday.
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Hundreds of people were hurt and at least 15 people killed in the quake, which mainly affected southern Ecuador and northern Peru, BBC News reported.
“I am close to the Ecuadorian people and I assure of my prayers for the deceased and all those who are suffering,” the pope said.
He also wished a happy Father’s Day to all the fathers.
In countries such as Italy, Portugal, Spain, Bolivia, Honduras, and several others, Father’s Day is celebrated on March 19, the Catholic feast of St. Joseph.
“Today we wish all fathers well. May they find in St. Joseph the model, the support, the comfort to live their fatherhood well,” Pope Francis said, inviting everyone to pray the Our Father for fathers.
In 2023, due to March 19 falling on the Fourth Sunday of Lent, the liturgical feast of St. Joseph is moved to Monday, March 20.
Hannah Brockhaus is Catholic News Agency's senior Rome correspondent. She grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, and has a degree in English from Truman State University in Missouri.