• Pope Francis Urges New Yorkers To Find Jesus During Mass

    Pope Francis preached about emulating Jesus to “meet others where they really are” during an enormous mass at Madison Square Garden Friday night.

    Drawing on the image of the largest city in the country itself, Francis compared the service’s reading from Isaiah — “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light” — to the smog and congestion of New York City. “Jesus still walks our streets,” he said, and Christians encounter him through sharing his joy with society’s most vulnerable.

    Echoing Jesus’ words to his disciples in the Gospels, he urged the thousands in attendance to “go out and meet others where they really are, not where we think they should be.” (RELATED: Pope Francis: Preaching Jesus Means Fearlessly ‘Moving Forward’)

    “Go out, again and again, go out without fear, without hesitation. Go out and proclaim this joy which is for all the people,” he continued.

    The remarks are consistent with Francis’ message throughout his visit to the States so far. He repeatedly referred to the importance of the individual human person in the world Friday at venues ranging from the United Nations to a Catholic school in an immigrant neighborhood. (RELATED: Pope Francis Talks Jesus, The Devil And Immigration At A Harlem School)

    Despite the city’s “anonymity,” he said, “God is living in our cities,” and the Catholic Church “wants to relate to everyone, to stand at everyone’s side.”

    He delivered another familiar phrase near the end of the mass, one which is quickly becoming a catchphrase for his visit to America. Just before leaving the Garden, he gave the thousands of New Yorkers the same “homework” he had given a gymnasium full of elementary and middle schoolers that afternoon: “Don’t forget to pray for me!”

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