The bond between God and mankind is forever despite our infidelities and it frees us, the Pope wrote in a message planned for his visit to Rome’s “Agostino Gemelli” hospital.
His scheduled visit last Friday was cancelled at the last minute due to a “sudden indisposition” and his message was read in his stead by Cardinal Angelo Scola, the archbishop of Milan.
“God is bound to us, He chose us, and this bond is for ever,” Pope Francis wrote, “not because we are faithful but because the Lord is faithful and tolerates our infidelity, our slowness, our lapses.
“God is not afraid of bonding with us,” he added. “He loves these bonds, he creates bonds; bonds which free, rather than constrain”.
The Pope wrote that today in particular, “fidelity is a value under threat, as we are induced always to seek change, presumed novelty, negotiating the roots of our existence, of our faith.
“Without fidelity to its roots, however, a society does not move ahead; it may make great technical progress, but not the full progress of all man and all humankind. God’s faithful love towards His people was made manifest and fully realised in Jesus Christ … [who] remains faithful and never betrays; even when we err, He always awaits us to forgive us: He is the face of the merciful Father”.
The Pope wrote this love and this faithfulness to the Lord “demonstrates the humility of His heart.”
“We are able to experience and savour the tenderness of this love in every phase of life: in times of joy and of sadness, in times of health and of infirmity and sickness. God’s faithfulness teaches us to welcome life as a manifestation of His love and enables us to bear witness to this love to our brethren in humble and meek service.”
The Holy Father added this is what the doctors and paramedical staff in Gemelli hospital, which belongs to the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, are especially called upon to do. “Here, each one of you brings to the sick a little of the love from Christ’s Heart, and you do so with competence and professionalism,” he wrote. “This means staying faithful to the fundamental values that Fr. Gemelli placed at the base of this university for Italian Catholics, to unite scientific research enlightened by faith to the preparation of qualified Christian professionals”.