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Be open to Christ's light, not blinded by pride, teaches Pope

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Pope Francis has urged the faithful to put aside their own prideful concerns and "be open to the light of Christ," he told congregants in St. Peter's Square in his Sunday Angelus message today. “Sometimes unfortunately ... from the height of our pride we judge others, and even the Lord! Today, we are invited to open ourselves to the light of Christ to bear fruit in our lives, to get rid of the behaviors that are not Christian,” said the Pope, as part of a reflection on the Gospel for today, which was about the man born blind. The Holy Father pointed out that the scholars of the law who attempted to criticize Jesus' healing of the blind man were "sinking deeper and deeper into their interior blindness."

“Locked in their presumption, they believe they already have the light, and for this reason are not open to the truth of Jesus. They do everything they can to deny the obvious,” the Pope explained, saying that the Pharisees showed a "closure to the light," in contrast to the blind man who "gradually approaches the light" and was searching for the truth. The man born blind was on what Francis called "a journey in stages" that began with the knowledge of Jesus' name. At first the man thinks Jesus is a prophet, and then only later when seeing Jesus a second time does he understand that he is the Son of Man, the Messiah. This Gospel account “the drama of interior blindness of many people, and ours also, because we have many moments of interior blindness,” the Pope said, “all of us -- everyone, eh? -- have acted, sometimes, not like Christians, because we are sinners, no? And we have to repent of this in order to walk the path of sanctity decisively.”

The Holy Father concluded by suggesting that all of the pilgrims in the square should meditate on today's Gospel. “When you return home, take the Gospel of John, read this passage from chapter nine, and do it well… we ask ourselves, how are our hearts? How is my heart? How is your heart? How are our hearts? Do I have a heart that is open or a heart that is closed? Open, or closed toward God? Open or closed toward my neighbor?” The Pope then exclaimed to the crowd that they should not be afraid. “Let us open ourselves to the Lord. He always waits for us. He always waits for us, to make us better, to give us light, to forgive us. Don’t forget that! He’s always waiting for us.”

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