Pope: God's action is 'more than just,’ it is Grace, like with the good thief

During the Angelus, Pope Francis noted that "God calls everyone and calls always, at any time". “The Church must be like God, [and] always go out,” he added. God's action "goes beyond justice". He "gives us more than we deserve". The International Eucharistic Congress has been postponed to next year, in the same venue in Budapest.


Vatican City (AsiaNews) – At the Angelus on Sunday, Pope Francis asked “Who is the first canonised saint in the Church? The good thief, who 'stole' paradise at the last moment of his life.”

Pope Francis cited this example in his address to the faithful gathered in St Peter's Square for the Angelus prayer in order to remind them that God's action "is more than just, insofar as it goes beyond justice and is manifested in Grace.”

Before the Marian prayer, the pontiff commented on today's Gospel (25th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Year A, Matthew 20:1-16) about the workers called to toil in the vineyard for the day, underlining "two attitudes of the landowner: the call and the recompense”.

The owner of the vineyard calls people “at 6 am, 9 am, 12 am, 3 pm and 5 pm”. He “represents God who calls everyone and calls always, at any time. God does this today too: he continues to call anyone, at any time, to invite them to work in his Kingdom . . . He is not locked up in his world, but continually 'goes out' in search of people, because he wants no one to be excluded from his plan of love.”

Hence, "Our communities are also called to go out of the various types of ‘confinements’ that may exist, to offer everyone the word of salvation that Jesus came to bring. This means being open to horizons of life that offer hope to those who find themselves on the existential edges and have not yet experienced, or have lost, the strength and light that comes from meeting Christ ".

For Francis, “The Church must be like God, always go out.” Citing a concept that he very often mentions, he added that "it is better to have a Church that has accident because it goes out, than a sick Church that does not go out".

The landowner’s second attitude is to recompense. In the parable, he pays everyone equally, both those who have worked all day as well as those who have only worked an hour.

“God behaves like this: he does not look at time and results, but at the availability and generosity with which we put ourselves at his service. His action is more than just, insofar as it goes beyond justice and is manifested in Grace. By giving us Grace, He gives us more than we deserve.”

“May Mary Most Holy help us feel every day the joy and amazement of being called by God to work for him, in his field which is the world, in his vineyard which is the Church, and have his love as the only recompense, the friendship of Jesus, who is everything for us.”

Following the Marian prayer, the Pope noted that the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress scheduled to take place in Budapest (Hungary) this year was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but will be held next year, from 5 to 12 September, in the same location, Budapest.

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