On this warm Spring day, Pope Francis held another Wednesday Audience in St. Peter’s Square, where he was awaited by thousands of faithful and pilgrims, who received him with the characteristic enthusiasm of those meetings. The Holy Father entered the Square in a Jeep, greeting in particular the children and the sick.
In his catechesis, he continued with the theme of Christian hope, and he pointed out that that hope is “founded on the fact that we are beloved children of God.”
“No one can live without love. In a certain sense, behind many reactions of hatred and violence a great interior void is hidden, that of a heart that has not been truly loved. The only thing that can make a person happy is the experience of loving and of being loved,” said the Pontiff.
“The first step God took towards us was His anticipated and unconditional love. God loves us before we have done something to deserve it. He is love and, by nature, love tends to diffuse itself, to give itself.”
It is, said the Pope, “like a mother, who never ceases to love her son, even if he committed a fault and has to face justice. So God never stops loving us, because we are His beloved children.”
“Love calls love. To change a person’s heart, we must, in the first place, embrace him; he must feel he is important to us and that he is loved. Thus the gift of hope will also begin to dawn for him.”
The Successor of Peter greeted “warmly the Spanish-speaking pilgrims, particularly the groups from Spain and Latin America,” and he exhorted them to “pray to the Virgin Mary” and “to be guided always by the love of her Son. And that that love of God be transmitted to others, so that a new hope will be enkindled in all. May the Lord bless you,” he concluded.