This scene, he said, reflects the fact that "Jesus gives health and freedom to the socially and religiously discriminated…Jesus' heart is always for them, for the excluded, as among other things the woman was perceived and represented then."
Although the woman was afraid to be seen, Jesus admired her faith and in meeting her gaze, he didn't chastise her, but rather welcomed her with mercy and tenderness, seeking a personal encounter that gives her dignity.
The same thing goes for each of us when we feel "discarded" by our sins, the Pope said, explaining that "we must have the courage to go to him, to ask for forgiveness for our sins and to go forward. With courage, like this woman did."
When it comes to war and conflict, Francis said that in his opinion sin today "manifests itself with all its strength of destruction in wars, in the different forms of violence and mistreatment, in the abandonment of the most fragile."
Echoing similar statements that he frequently makes, the Pope noted that it's the poor and vulnerable that are the first to pay the price.
When faced with these situations in the midst of Holy Week, the Pope said the only thing that comes to his mind "to ask with more strength for peace for this world subjected to arms traffickers who earn with the blood of men and women."
Looking back at the violence of the past century, marred by two World Wars and numerous other conflicts, Francis said it's hard to tell whether or not the world is more violent now than it was then, or if thanks to modern communications technologies we are simply "more aware of violence or more addicted to it."
He stressed the importance of not responding to violence with violence, saying "violence is not the cure for our shattered world."
Responding to violence with violence leads "at best" to forced migration and suffering, an imbalance in the distribution of resources, and difficulties for youth, families in hardship, elderly and the sick.
"In the worst case," he said, "it brings the death, both physical and spiritual, of many, if not all."