Pope: we are all sinners and we should not judge others
Pope Francis reflects on how Jesus brought God’s mercy to fulfillment in the new cycle of General Audience catechesis, following the series dedicated to mercy in the Old Testament. "We are all forgiven" because Jesus took every sin to the Cross and "is the mercy of God made flesh. "
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "We are all sinners," we have to recognize it and we should not "judge others”. This is because "we are all forgiven" since Jesus took every sin "to the Cross " and is the mercy of God made flesh. " Pope Francis has begun a new cycle of reflections for the General Audience dedicated to how Jesus brought the mercy of God to fulfillment following the series dedicated to mercy in the Old Testament.
40 thousand people were present in St. Peter's Square for the weekly appointment and as is tradition Pope Francis toured among them in his white jeep. In his catechesis he emphasized that Jesus always expressed, realized and communicated "mercy”, in every moment of his earthly life. "By meeting the crowds, proclaiming the Gospel, healing the sick, approaching the least, forgiving sinners, Jesus makes visible an open love, without exception, without boundaries. A pure love, free and absolute. A love which reaches its culmination in the sacrifice of the Cross. Yes, the Gospel is indeed the 'Gospel of Mercy', because Jesus is Mercy! ".
"All four Gospels attest that Jesus, before beginning his ministry, wanted to be baptized by John the Baptist (Mt 3,13-17; Mk 1,9-11; Lk 3,21-22; John 1:29 -34). This event gives decisive guidance to the whole mission of Christ. In fact, he did not present himself to the world in the splendor of the temple, as he could have done, he did not announce himself to the sound of trumpets, as he could have done nor come in the guise of a judge, as he could have done. Instead, after thirty years of hidden life in Nazareth, Jesus went to the River Jordan, along with so many people of his people, and got in line with sinners, he had no shame, he was there with everyone, with sinners to be baptized. Therefore, from the beginning of His ministry, He was manifested as the Messiah who takes on the human condition, moved by solidarity and compassion. As he himself says in the synagogue of Nazareth identifying with the prophecy of Isaiah: " “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.” (Luke 4:18-19).
“All that Jesus did after His Baptism was the realization of the initial program: to take to all the love of God that saves; Jesus did not bring hatred, He did not bring enmity: He brought us love! – a great love, a heart open to all, to all of us! – a love that saves!”.
“He made Himself close to the last, communicating to them God’s mercy, which is forgiveness, joy and new life. Jesus, the Son sent by the Father, is really the beginning of the time of mercy for the whole of humanity! Those who were present on the banks of the Jordan did not understand immediately the importance of Jesus’ gesture. John the Baptist himself was astonished by His decision (cf. Matthew 3:14) — but not the heavenly Father! He made His voice heard from on high: ”You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:11).
Thus, the Father confirmed the way the Son undertook as Messiah, while the Holy Spirit descended upon Him as a dove. So Jesus’ heart beats, so to speak, in unison with the heart of the Father and of the Spirit, showing all men that salvation is the fruit of God’s mercy”.
“We can contemplate the great mystery of this love even more clearly by turning our gaze to Jesus crucified. While He is about to die for us sinners, He entreats the Father: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). It is on the Cross that Jesus presents to the Father’s mercy the sin of the world, the sin of all, my sins, your sins. And there, on the Cross, He presents them to the Father. And with the sins of the world all our sins are cancelled. Nothing and no one remains excluded from this sacrificial prayer of Jesus. This means that we must not be afraid to acknowledge and confess ourselves sinners. How many times we say: “But he is a sinner, he has done this, and that …”, and we judge others. And you? Each one of us should ask himself: Yes, he is a sinner, and I?” We are all sinners, but we are all forgiven: we all have the possibility of receiving this forgiveness, which is God’s mercy. Therefore, we must not be afraid to acknowledge ourselves sinners, to confess ourselves sinners, because every sin was born by the Son on the Cross. And when we confess it repentant, entrusting ourselves to Him, we are certain of being forgiven. The Sacrament of Reconciliation renders actual for each one the strength of the forgiveness that flows from the Cross and renews in our life the grace of mercy that Jesus acquired for us! We must not be afraid of our miseries: each one of us has his own. The power of the love of the Crucified knows no obstacles and is never exhausted, and this mercy cancels our miseries”.
“Dearly beloved, in this Jubilee Year, let us ask God for the grace to experience the power of the Gospel: the Gospel of mercy that transforms, which makes us enter in God’s heart, which enables us to forgive and to look at the world with greater kindness. If we receive the Gospel of the Risen Crucified One, the whole of our life is moulded by the strength of His love, which renews".
Finally, after the audience Francis said that "today marks the third World Day of Sport for Peace and Development convened by the United Nations. Sport - he continued - is a universal language that brings people together and can help to bring people together and overcome conflicts . Therefore I encourage you to live the sporting dimension as the gym of virtue in the integral development of individuals and communities".