by Pope Francis.
God is joyful. And what is God’s joy? God’s joy is to forgive.
It is the joy of a shepherd who finds his little sheep, the joy of a woman who finds her coin. It is the joy of a father who welcomes back into his house the son who was lost, the son who as though dead, has come back to life.
Here is the whole Gospel! Here! Here is the whole Gospel, the whole of Christianity!
Mercy is the true power that can save man and the world from the "cancer" of sin, moral evil, spiritual evil. Love alone fills the voids, the negative abysses that evil opens in hearts and in history. Only love can do this, and this is God’s joy!
Jesus is all mercy, all love: he is God-made-man. Each of us, each of us, is that lost sheep, that lost coin. Each of us is that son who has squandered his freedom by following idols, mirages of happiness, and who has lost everything.
But God does not forget us; the Father never abandons us. He is a patient father; he is always waiting for us. He respects our freedom, but he always remains faithful.
And when we return to him, he welcomes us as his children into his house because he never ceases, not even for a moment, to wait for us, with love.
And his heart celebrates every child that returns. It celebrates because it is joy. God has this joy when one of us sinners goes to him and asks forgiveness.
Maybe someone has something heavy in his heart: "But I did this, I did that …" He is waiting for you. He is a father: he is always waiting for us.
If we live by the law "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth," we will never get out of the spiral of evil. The devil is clever, and he dupes us into thinking that with our human justice we can save ourselves and the world.
In reality, only God’s justice can save us. And God’s justice is revealed in the cross: the cross is God’s judgment on all of us and this world.
But how does God judge us? By giving his life for us. This is the supreme act of justice that defeated the Prince of this World once and for all; and this supreme act of justice is also the supreme act of mercy.
Jesus calls all of us to follow this road: Be merciful, as your Father is merciful (Lk 6:36).
I will ask you to do something now. In silence, everyone, let us all think… Everyone think of a person with whom we are not in good stead, with whom we are angry, whom we dislike.
Let us think of this person and in silence, at this moment, let us pray for this person and have mercy on this person.
—Excerpted from the Sunday Angelus talk, September 16, 2013
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