CTV Pope - General Audience

Pope at General Audience: Accept Heartfelt Apologies, 'Don't Cut Relationship'

Reflecting on Mercy and Justice, Francis Stresses God Wants to Save All, Even Pilate, Judas

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God wants to save everyone! Without exception. He even wanted to save Judas and Pontius Pilate.
Pope Francis stressed this during his General Audience this morning as he reflected on the relationship between mercy and justice to the faithful in St. Peter’s Square, stressing we need to imitate the Father’s pardoning and open heart.
He reminded those present that, in our relationships, we likewise are called to open our hearts by pardoning those we feel wronged by, who seek forgiveness.
‘Don’t cut the relationship,’ he said off the cuff.
Mercy vs Justice
The Holy Father picked up this theme reflecting on how the Sacred Scriptures present God as infinite mercy, but also as perfect justice.
When we think of justice, he noted, how we often think of its legal administration, which seeks retribution and exacts a penalty. Such legal justice, he explained, does not conquer evil, but simply stems its tide.
Invitation to Conversion
The Bible, the Pontiff explained, presents true justice as a process which avoids a tribunal.
«It foresees the offended person going directly to the guilty party to invite them to conversion, by helping them to see the evil they have done, and by appealing to their conscience.»
In this way, the guilty person is able to see their wrong and be open to the forgiveness offered.
This is effective, he suggested, because the person sees their wrong and can be open to the forgiveness offered.
In our personal relationships, especially those between spouses or between parents and children, he said, «this is the way to resolve their differences in families.»
The person injured, in loving the person who was wrong, ‘saves’ that relationship by forgiving.
Do Not Cut Relationship
Even though doing this is difficult, the Pope said, «Do not cut that relationship.»
«It requires that those who have suffered wrong be ready to forgive and desire the salvation and the good of those who have offended him.»
Yet, this is still justice, because the offended person recognizes the harm they committed and does not do it again. Then, being forgiven, the person who behaved unjustly, becomes just, and finds the right path.
Saving Pilate and Judas
In short, he said, we are to imitate, when we are wronged, how God acts towards us sinners.
«The Lord constantly offers us his forgiveness and helps us to welcome him and to become aware of our evil that we should deliver.»
This, he said, is because God doesn’t want our condemnation, but our salvation.
«God does not want the condemnation of anyone! Some of you might ask me the question: «But Father, the condemnation of Pilate he deserved? God wanted it? «- No! God wanted to save Pilate and Judas, everyone! He is the Lord’s mercy wants to save everyone.»
We Must Let Him Enter Our Heart
The problem is to let him enter the heart. All the words of the prophets are a passionate appeal and full of love that seeks our conversion.
And this is the heart of God, a Father’s heart that loves and wants his children to live in goodness and justice, and therefore live in fullness and to be happy.
«A fatherly heart,» he stressed, «goes beyond our little concept of justice to open ourselves to the boundless horizons of His mercy,» regardless of our sins.

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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