Jesus welcomed sinners in his day and continues to do so today, Pope Francis has said.
“If we think of this in a human way, the sinner would be an enemy of Jesus, an enemy of God, yet he drew near to them with goodness, loved them and changed their hearts,” the Pope said on Saturday during one of his special jubilee general audiences.
“All of us are sinners, all of us,” Francis said. “Before God, we all have some fault. Yet we should not lose heart: He is close to us to give us comfort, mercy, forgiveness.”
In his audience talk, Pope Francis focused on the word “commitment,” both the commitment of God to save humanity and the commitment Christians should have to share the Gospel in word and deed.
“When I make a commitment, it means that I assume a responsibility,” Francis continued. And it also implies “an attitude of fidelity and dedication, of particular attention” to carrying out a certain task.
God is committed to humanity, he added. His commitment is seen in “creating the world and, despite our attempts to ruin it — and there have been many — his commitment to keeping it alive.”
But the greatest sign of God’s commitment — his “extreme commitment” to humanity — is his decision to send his son to save us, Pope Francis said. “In Jesus, God make a complete commitment to restoring hope to the poor, to those deprived of their dignity, to the foreigner, the sick, prisoners and to sinners, whom he welcomed with goodness.”
Christians, he said, must make a commitment to ensuring others experience that closeness, mercy and forgiveness of God.
“This is especially true in situations of greatest need, where there is more of a thirst for hope,” he said. “For example, I am thinking of our commitment to people who are abandoned, those who have severe handicapping conditions, the seriously ill (and) the dying.”
“We always must transmit the caress of God, because God has caressed us with his mercy,” Pope Francis said. “Carry it to others, to those who need it, to those who are suffering in their hearts or are sad. Draw near to them with the caress of God, which is the same caress he has given us.”
Having been unable to sell in churches for well over a year due to the pandemic, we are now inviting readers to support the Herald by investing in our future. We have been a bold and influential voice in the church since 1888, standing up for traditional Catholic culture and values.
Please join us on our 130 year mission by supporting us. We are raising £250,000 to safeguard the Herald as a world-leading voice in Catholic journalism and teaching. For more information from our chairman on contributing to the Herald Patron's Fund, click here
Make a Donation
Donors giving £500 or more will automatically become sponsor patrons of the Herald. This includes two complimentary print/digital gift subscriptions, invitations to Patron events, pilgrimages and dinners, and 6 gift subscriptions sent to priests, seminaries, Catholic schools, religious care homes and prison and university chaplaincies. Click here for more information on becoming a Patron Sponsor. Click here for more information about contributing to the Herald Patron's Fund