Using simple words and the “Our Father”, Pope Francis on June 21, 2018, urged the faithful to ask only for what they truly need, to lead a simpler life. His reflections came in his homily at the Geneva Palexpo, the last major event of his one-day ecumenical pilgrimage to Geneva to mark the 70th anniversary of the foundation of the WCC.
“Father, bread, forgiveness,” the Pope began. “Three words that the Gospel offers us today. Three words that take us to the very heart of our faith.”
Father: The Pope stressed that this is where the central prayer of our faith begins. Before being powerful and infinite, God is father.
Bread: In the “Our Father” the Pope notes that we ask for our needs for just that day. This is our call to a simpler life.
Forgiveness: The Holy Father reminded the congregation that God never tires of forgiving our sins. For us, forgiveness is not easy – but that is what God expects, that we forgive others as he forgives us.
The Holy Father urged the faithful to never tire of saying “Our Father”. It holds many vital reminders.
“It will remind us that just as there are no sons or daughters without a Father, so none of us is ever alone in this world,” the Pope said. “It will also remind us that there is no Father without sons or daughters, so none of us is an only child. Each of us must care for our brothers and sisters in the one human family.
“When we say ‘Our Father’, we are saying that every human being is part of us, and that, in the face of all the wrongs that offend our Father, we, as his sons and daughters, are called to react as brothers and sisters. We are called to be good guardians of our family, to overcome all indifference towards our brothers or sisters, towards any of our brothers or sisters. This includes the unborn, the older person who can no longer speak, the person we find hard to forgive, the poor and the outcast. This is what the Father asks us, indeed commands us, to do: to love one another from the heart, as sons and daughters in the midst of their brothers and sisters.”
Pope Francis concluded with a reminder that forgiveness “renews and works miracles”:
“Forgiven by our Father, each of us is born again as a new creation when we love our brothers and sisters. Only then do we bring true newness to our world, for there is no greater novelty than forgiveness, which turns evil into good.”