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Pope Francis: ‘Jesus sought the people, not popularity’

Pope Francis (CNS)

Jesus did not come into the world seeking popularity, but rather to be close to those in need, Pope Francis said.

The large crowds that would gather around Jesus wherever he went “had their eyes fixed on him and he had his eyes fixed on the people,” the Pope said on January 31 during Mass in the chapel of Domus Sanctae Marthae.

“This is the peculiarity of Jesus’ gaze: Jesus does not depersonalize the people; he looks at each one” individually, he said.

The Pope reflected on the day’s Gospel reading from St Mark, which recalled the great crowds that would follow Jesus seeking healing.

Jesus, he noted, “is always in the midst of the people. He is not with guards who escort him so that the people will not touch him. No, no! He remained there and the people pressed in.”

Jesus’ gaze focuses on real people and the reality of their lives, “from the greatest to the smallest” things in their hearts, the Pope said. “He looks at our great problems, our great joys, and he also looks at our little things because he is close. Jesus isn’t afraid of the big things, but he also considers the small things.