It's always about the gaze... What?
While all the disciples, the scribes and Pharisees and the teachers of the law chatter and kibitz over the Pope's interview in America magazine, Francis directs our attention upon that gaze of Christ, that look of love, which welcomes sinners and acknowledges them... invites them.
Jesus looks Matthew – a tax collector, a public sinner whose whole life was money, which he idolized – right in the eye. Then, said Pope Francis, “[Matthew feels] in his heart the gaze of the Lord who looked upon him.”:
“That gaze overtook him completely, it changed his life. We say he was converted. He Changed his life. ‘As soon as he felt that gaze in his heart, he got up and followed him.’ This is true: Jesus’ gaze always lifts us up. It is a look that always lifts us up, and never leaves you in your place, never lets us down, never humiliates. It invites you to get up - a look that brings you to grow, to move forward, that encourages you, because [the One who looks upon you] loves you. The gaze makes you feel that He loves you. This gives the courage to follow Him: ‘And he got up and followed him.’”
“And sinners, tax collectors and sinners, they felt that Jesus had looked on them and that gaze of Jesus upon them – I believe – was like a breath on embers, and they felt that there was fire in the belly, again, and that Jesus made lifted them up, gave them back their dignity. The gaze of Jesus always makes us worthy, gives us dignity. It is a generous look. ‘But behold, what a teacher: dining with the dregs of the city!’: But beneath that dirt there were the embers of desire for God, the embers of God's image that wanted someone who could help them be kindled anew. This is what the gaze of Jesus does.” - Vatican Radio
Why is that so hard to understand?
Did anyone see the Charlie Rose interview with the Jesuits last night? Seriously, even Charlie Rose gets it, he initiated the conversation pointing out that the Pope wasn't changing Church teaching, but rather simply placing a different emphasis.
"Go and learn the meaning of the words, 'I desire mercy not sacrifice'. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners." - Matthew 9:13