During his recent Angelus address, Pope Francis spoke about the importance of being open to change and having strong faith.
He reflected on the biblical story of Jesus’ encounter with the Canaanite woman, emphasizing that it was her steadfast faith that led to a change in Jesus’ attitude towards her.
“Jesus changed his attitude. What made him change it was the strength of the woman’s faith,” Pope Francis explained to pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square.
He noted that this story is a prelude to the later spread of the Gospel to the Gentiles by the Holy Spirit, highlighting the universality of God’s work.
Drawing attention to Jesus’ compassionate response to the Canaanite woman’s plight, the Pope said, “This is what God is like: he is love, and the one who loves does not remain rigid.”
He further elaborated that love is creative, and those who truly love can be firm without being rigid. Pope Francis encouraged Christians to be open to change and to soften their hearts in the name of compassion and the good of others, like Jesus did.
The Pope also emphasized the woman’s strong and insistent faith, saying that it was her concrete faith in Jesus that brought about the healing of her daughter.
“This is the concreteness of faith, which is not a religious label but is a personal relationship with the Lord,” he said.
Pope Francis concluded by asking believers to examine their own faith and attitude.
“Am I capable of changing opinion? Do I know how to be understanding and do I know how to be compassionate, or do I remain rigid in my position? Is there some rigidity in my heart, which is not firmness? Rigidity is bad, but firmness is good,” he ended.