I wanted to share a quick post and Father Roderick’s video from today’s Angelus, Pope Francis’ visit with all of us globally today to remind us of the theme of God’s unfailing forgiveness for his people.
In his video, Father Roderick captures both the sense of love the throngs in St. Peter’s Square have for the new Holy Father, as well as the effectiveness of the Pope’s communications with his flock. From the Vatican website, we have this summary of today’s Angelus remarks:
He told a story, of an elderly widow he encountered during a Mass for the sick celebrated in connection with a visit of the image of Our Lady of Fatima. “I went to confession during the Mass,” he said, “and near the end – I had to go to do confirmations afterward, and an elderly lady approached me – humble [she was] so very humble, more than eighty years old. I looked at her, and said, ‘Grandmother,’ – where I come from, we call elderly people grandmother and grandfather – ‘would you like to make your confession?’ ‘Yes,’ she said – and I said, ‘but, if you have not sinned…’ and she said, ‘we all have sinned.’ [I replied], ‘if perhaps He should not forgive [you]?’ and, sure, she replied, ‘The Lord forgives everything.’ I asked, ‘How do you know this for sure, madam?’ and she replied, ‘If the Lord hadn’t forgiven all, then the world wouldn’t [still] be here.’ And, I wanted to ask her, ‘Madam, did you study at the Gregorian (the Pontifical Gregorian University, founded in 1551 by St Ignatius Loyola, the oldest Jesuit university in the world)?’ – because that is wisdom, which the Holy Spirit gives – interior wisdom regarding the mercy of God. Let us not forget this word: God never tires of forgiving us,” he repeated, “but we sometimes tire of asking Him to forgive us.” Pope Francis went on to say, “Let us never tire of asking God’s forgiveness.”
This message comes at such a beautiful time for our Church, as we journey towards the glory of Holy Week and Easter. Many of our parishes are welcoming the faithful to partake of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Many of those same faithful have not availed themselves of this Sacrament for years. I pray that all of us will hear this healing message from today’s Angelus message and remember the peace of seeking and receiving God’s unending forgiveness. In the closing of his homily today, Pope Francis reminds us of God’s continual mercy:
“We ask for the grace of never tiring of asking pardon, for He never tires of pardoning.”