Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In today’s Audience I would like to speak of the Church as God’s family. Like the merciful father in the parable of the prodigal son, God wants all of us to live in his love and to share in his life. The Church is an essential part of this divine plan; we were made to know and love God and, despite our sins, he continues to call us to return to Him.
In the fullness of time, He sent his Son into our world to inaugurate the new and eternal covenant with humanity through his sacrifice on the cross. The Church was born of this supreme act of reconciling love, in the water and blood which flowed from Christ’s pierced side.
At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit sent the Apostles to proclaim the Gospel of God’s love to the ends of the earth. Christ can never be separated from his Church, which he has made the great family of God’s children.
Today, let pledge ourselves to renewing our love for the Church and to letting her be God’s true family, where everyone feels welcomed, understood and loved.”
I offer a cordial welcome to all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today’s Audience, including those from England, Scotland, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Canada and the United States. May you always grow in love for Christ and for God’s family which is the Church. God bless you all!