Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Pope Francis and the Patience and Mercy of God

Pope Francis continues to place before us the face of God's mercy, his tenderness, his patience, his gift of ineffable love that is greater than our weakness: "The Lord saves us by his love: not with a letter, nor with a decree, but with his love."

God's love comes first. He has loved us, in a way beyond our understanding. "God did not wait for us to go to him, but he moved towards us, without calculation, without measures." He gives himself without measure, all way to the end, to the whole depth of our lives, asking us to open our hearts so that his love can change us and empower us to come out of ourselves, to love him and one another, to become a new creation in him. His mercy probes each of us; he who knows each of us more intimately than we know ourselves calls us and draws us, and makes conversion possible.

"On the cross, Jesus loved me and gave himself for me. Each of us can say, He loved me and gave himself for me. Everyone can say that for me."

And in his preaching, Francis even gives us a voice. He gives words to our own hearts:

"Lord, I believe.
I believe in your love.
I believe that your love has saved me.
I believe that your love has given me
the dignity that I did not have.
I believe that your love gives me hope."

"Lord, I am here,
accept my poverty,
hide my sin in your wounds,
wash it away with your blood."

Jesus calls us to believe in his love, to trust in him.

"Don’t be afraid, go to him, he is waiting for you, he will take care of everything. We hear many offers from the world around us; but let us take up God’s offer instead: his is a caress of love. For God, we are not numbers, we are important, indeed we are the most important thing to him; even if we are sinners, we are what is closest to his heart."

"How beautiful is the gaze with which Jesus regards us – how full of tenderness! Let us never lose trust in the patience and mercy of God."