Mass at Santa Marta © L'Osservatore Romano

Mass at Santa Marta © L'Osservatore Romano

Santa Marta: Do Not Be Rigid to the God Who Opens Hearts

Pope Reminds God’s Mercy Prevails Over All

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We have a God of patience who knows how to open hearts, even those that are rigid.
According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis gave this reminder today, Oct. 10, 2017, during his daily morning Mass in his residence Casa Santa Marta, as he reflected on a reading from the Book of Jonah.
Francis recalled that in the Bible story, God asks Jonah to convert the city of Nineveh. While at first the prophet refuses to and runs away, later he fulfills the Lord’s orders.
However, the Pope reminded,  Jonah was angry because God forgave people, «who, with open hearts, showed repentance.»
The Holy Father went on to criticize those who have «stubborn souls,» and «do not understand what God’s mercy is,» including Jonah.
Closed to mercy, the Pope explained, “they forget that the justice of God became flesh in his Son, it became mercy and forgiveness; they forget that God’s heart is always open to forgiveness.”
These people forgot “the omnipotence of God is manifested primarily in His mercy and forgiveness,” the Pope said, recognizing «it is not easy to understand God’s mercy.»
«Much prayer is needed because it is a grace,” he said.
God’s infinite mercy, the Holy Father reminded, prevails over all. Therefore, the Pope warned Christians against being rigid and invited them to open their hearts.
The Holy Father concluded, giving the following advice: ‘Read the Book of Jonah today. It is very small, only three pages, and see how the Lord acts, how His mercy transforms our hearts, and thank the Lord for being so merciful.’
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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': or

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