At General Audience, Also Warns Corrupt Benefactors That Church Doesn’t Want ‘Dirty Money,’ But Opening of Hearts to God’s Mercy
Our sins, even if they are red like scarlet, will be made white like snow.
Pope Francis said this during this morning’s General Audience, as he continued his catechesis on Divine Mercy.
The Jesuit Pontiff began by recalling how the Prophets present God’s fatherly and forgiving love also as involving three elements: correction, a summons to conversion and the renewal of the Covenant.
Every parent, the Pope pointed out, knows how challenging it is to help their children to grow in freedom and responsibility.
“But, because of sin, freedom becomes a pretension of autonomy and pride leads to opposition and to the illusion of self-sufficiency.”
Francis added how God understands this experience firsthand, as we see in the Scriptures, where he laments how His children sin and are disobedient.
The Pope pointed out that if the Lord chastises, it’s to lead them toward repentance and conversion.
“Although wounded, God lets love speak, and He appeals to the conscience of these degenerate children so that they will repent and allow themselves to be loved again. This is what God does! He comes to us so that we will let ourselves be loved by Him, by our God.”
In his mercy, he asks them to turn back to him with all their hearts and to receive a righteousness that is itself his gift.
“God never disowns us, we are His people, the most evil of men, the most evil of women, the most evil of peoples are His children. And God is like this: He never, never, disowns us! He always says: “Son, come.” And this is our Father’s love; this is God’s mercy.”
And this is the way of divine mercy: God does not treat us according to our faults. Francis illustrated how God expects us to save ourselves, and how doing otherwise won’t do.
“When one is sick one goes to the doctor; when one feels himself a sinner one goes to the Lord. However, if instead of going to the doctor, one goes to a magician, one is not healed.”
“So many times,” Francis added, “we do not go to the Lord, but prefer to go on mistaken paths, seeking outside of Him justification, justice and peace. ”
The Pope also went on to warn corrupt benefactors, those who come into the Church with a check which results from exploiting their workers.
“I would say to these people: “Please, take back your check, burn it,” Francis said, stressing, “The people of God, namely the Church, does not need dirty money; she needs hearts open to God’s mercy. It is necessary to approach God with purified hands, avoiding evil and doing good and justice.”
Pope Francis concluded, praying that all people this Holy Year be open to God’s merciful invitation to come back to him and to experience His miraculous love and forgiveness.