Whether or not we ever feel that we can be without God, Pope Francis has reminded, that God cannot, however, be without us.
Pope Francis expressed this during his weekly General Audience in St. Peter’s Square this morning, June 7, 2017, as he continued his catecheses on Christian hope, reflecting specifically on the Fatherhood of God.
“Dear brothers and sisters, we are never alone,” Francis underscored. “We can be far, hostile; we can even say we are ‘without God.’ But Jesus Christ’s Gospel reveals to us that God cannot be without us.”
“It is He who cannot be without us, and this is a great mystery!”
This certainty, the Holy Father highlighted, is the source of our hope, which we see in all the invocations of the Our Father.
“When we are in need of help, Jesus does not tell us to be resigned and to shut ourselves in ourselves, but to turn to the Father and to ask Him with trust,” the Pope said, noting: “All our needs, the most evident and daily as food, health, work to that of being forgiven and sustained in temptations, are not the mirror of our solitude: instead, there is a Father who always looks at us with love, and who certainly does not abandon us.”
Francis reminded that when Jesus was asked by his disciples how to pray, He taught them to call God Our Father.
Christianity, the Pope stressed, introduces a great religious ‘revolution,’ through Christ’s command, where we “dare to speak of a transcendent and all-holy God as children speak, with complete trust, to a loving father.”
In the parable of the merciful father, who welcomes his prodigal son with supreme forgiveness, the Jesuit Pope recalled, Jesus speaks to us of the father’s unconditional love. St. Paul, in his Letters, Francis also pointed out, twice repeats the original Aramaic word used by Jesus in his prayer: “Abba” (cf. Rom 8:15; Gal 4:6).
Because we are God’s adoptive sons and daughters in the Holy Spirit, the Jesuit Pontiff reminded, “we share in the intimate relationship between Jesus and the Father, and this is the basis of our sure hope in God’s saving help.”
“Now I propose something to you: every one of us has so many problems, so many needs,” the Pope said, “let us think, a bit, in silence, of these problems and these needs. We also think of the Father, of our Father,” he added, “who cannot be without us, and who is looking at us at this moment. And all together, with trust and hope, we pray: ‘Our Father, Who art in Heaven . . .’”
Pope Francis concluded, asking those present to join him in saying the prayer, and reminding them that when they do so, they are confirmed in the knowledge that, in His merciful love, our heavenly Father watches over them, responds to their petitions, and never abandons them.
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