(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis continued his catechesis on Christian hope with pilgrims gathered in the Paul VI Hall for the Wednesday General Audience, saying that God’s mercy as embodied by Jesus both transforms us and renews our hope.
Listen to Devin Watkins’ report:
In his address to pilgrims at the Wednesday General Audience, Pope Francis spoke about God’s mercy and forgiveness as the driving force or the “motor” of Christian hope.
He reflected on the passage in Luke’s Gospel (Lk 7:44-50) in which Jesus forgives the sins of the woman who bathed his feet with her tears and a precious ointment.
Pope Francis said that Jesus’ merciful action causes scandal, because it overturns the dominant attitude of his time. Jesus, he said, embraced sinners and the “untouchables” of his day, rather than rejecting them as was commonplace.
“Jesus, faced with human pain, feels mercy; Jesus’ heart is merciful. Jesus feels compassion. Literally: Jesus feels a tremor within.”
The Pope said Jesus’ astonishing attitude to those in desperate situations, even those who have made many mistakes in life, marks our Christian identity with the stamp of mercy.
And this gives a sure foundation to our hope.
Pope Francis then invited all present to reflect on the cost of sin.
“Jesus does not go to the cross because He heals the sick, preaches charity, or proclaims the beatitudes. The Son of God goes to the cross above all because He forgives sins, and because He wants the total and definitive liberation of the human heart.”
Finally, Pope Francis said God’s mercy both transforms us and renews our hope.
“[W]e are all poor sinners, in need of the mercy of God Who has the strength to transform us and to restore our hope every day.”
(from Vatican Radio)…
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis appealed on Wednesday for an end to “every form of hatred and violence”, especially those “perpetrated in places of worship, where the faithful gather to pray”.
He was referring to an attack on Catholics attending Sunday Mass in southern Nigeria.
At his General Audience, Pope Francis said he “remains deeply saddened by the massacre, which took place last Sunday in Nigeria inside a church, where innocent people were killed.”
At least 13 people were killed and 26 others were wounded when gunmen opened fire on worshippers at St. Philip’s Catholic Church in Ozubulu near the city of Onitsha.
The Pope also decried an incident which occurred on Wednesday in the Central African Republic.
“And, unfortunately, news has arrived this morning of violent homicides in the Central African Republic against the Christian community.”
He expressed his desire that attacks on places of worship should cease.
“I hope that all forms of hatred and violence cease, and may such shameful crimes not be repeated, especially those perpetrated in places of worship, where the faithful gather to pray.”
After a brief pause, the Holy Father invited all present to think about “our brothers and sisters in Nigeria and in the Central African Republic” and to pray for them.
He then led the crowd in the recitation of the Hail Mary.
Pope Francis already on Monday sent a telegramme of condolences to Bishop Hilary Paul Odili Okeke of Nnewi following the attack on the church in his diocese.
(from Vatican Radio)…
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis continued his catechesis on Christian hope at the Wednesday General Audience in the Paul VI Hall, reflecting on divine forgiveness as the “motor of hope”.
Please find below the official English summary of the Pope’s catechesis:
In our continuing catechesis, we now consider God’s mercy as the driving force of Christian hope. When Jesus forgives the sinful woman, his action causes scandal, because it overturns the dominant attitude of the time. Instead of rejecting sinners, Jesus embraces them, those who are outcast, “untouchable”. With a compassion that literally causes him to tremble in his depths, he reveals the merciful heart of God. This astonishing attitude to those in desperate situations, even those who have made many mistakes in life, marks our Christian identity with the stamp of mercy, and gives a sure foundation to our hope. We who have experienced God’s forgiveness should avoid the danger of forgetting that this mercy was purchased at a great price: Christ’s death on the Cross. Our Lord died not because he healed the sick, but because he did what only God can do: forgive sins. This divine mercy both transforms us and renews our hope. Our Lord, who rejects no one, graciously bestows upon us the mission to proclaim his mercy to the world.
(from Vatican Radio)…