04/24/2019, 12.44
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Pope: Jesus replaces the law of retaliation with the law of love

Today's general audience, dedicated to the fifth question of the "Our Father": "as we forgive those who trespass against us". There is no "self-made man" in the Church. We are all indebted to God and to many people who have given us favorable living conditions ". "If you do not try to forgive, you will not be forgiven; if you do not try to love, you will not be loved either." "Evil knows its revenge, and if it is not interrupted it risks spreading and suffocating the whole world." Greetings to Asian pilgrims.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "Jesus replaces the law of retaliation – you did it to me so I will do it to you – with the law of love: what God has done to me, I will do for you! " Pope Francis thus summarized the novelty of the Christian faith, commenting on the fifth question of the "Our Father", and dwelling on the expression " as we forgive those who trespass against us" (Matthew 6:12).

Speaking to the more than 30 thousand faithful gathered for the general audience, in St. Peter's Square still decorated with the flowers of the Easter ceremonies, the Pope stressed that "There is no "self-made man" in the Church. We are all indebted to God and to many people who have given us favorable living conditions. Whoever prays learns to say "thank you" and asks God to be kind to him or her. However much we strive, there is always an unbridgeable debt before God, which we will never be able to repay: He loves us infinitely more than we love Him. And then, as much as we commit ourselves to living in accordance with Christian teachings, in our lives there will always be something to ask forgiveness for.”

"Every Christian - he added - knows that forgiveness of sins exists ... But the God’s abundant grace is always demanding. Those who have received so much must learn to give so much. It is no coincidence that the Gospel of Matthew, immediately after having given us the text of the 'Our Father', among the seven expressions used, goes out of its way to emphasize precisely that of fraternal forgiveness: "If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions "(Mt 6,14-15). Here we find the bond between love for God and love of neighbor. Love calls love, forgiveness calls forgiveness ".

Recalling then the parable of the merciless servant (Matthew 18: 21-35), who does not pay a small debt to a colleague of his, after having received a huge amnesty from his master, the pontiff emphasizes: you will be forgiven; if you do not try to love, you will not be loved either."

"Jesus - he concluded - inserts the power of forgiveness into human relationships. In life, not everything is resolved with justice. Especially where we must put a barrier to evil, someone must love beyond what is necessary, to start a story of grace again. Evil knows its revenge, and if it is not interrupted it risks spreading and suffocating the whole world.

Jesus replaces the law of retaliation – you did it to me so I will do it to you – with the law of love: what God has done to me, I will do for you!

May God give every Christian the grace to write a story of good in the lives of his brothers and sisters, especially those who have done something unpleasant and wrong. With a word, an embrace, a smile, we can transmit to others the most precious  thing that we have received: forgiveness".

In greetings in several languages, Francis also welcomed several groups of Asian pilgrims: from the Middle East, from Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore.

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