Pope Francis posed a question to thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square: How is it possible that God acts in the world through the Church and Christians if all are sinners?
"Many times, as a Church, we experience our frailty and our limitations. We all have them. We are all sinners. All of us. None of us can say: 'I am not a sinner.' If one of us feels that they are not a sinner, raise your hand. Let's see how many...you can't. We all are.”
Pope Francis said that although the way God acts in the world can't always be understood, Christians can see how Jesus acted.
"As Jesus used his humanity – because he was also a man - to accomplish his mission, so should the Church. Through its visible reality, of all that can be seen: the Sacraments, the witness of all Christians, the Church is called everyday to be close to every person.”
He went on to say that the Church is made up not only of bishops and priests, but of all baptized people. In that way, God can use the witness of each Christian to bring others closer to the faith.
"Let us ask [the Lord] to not be a cause of scandal. Let us ask for the gift of faith so that we can understand that, despite our limitations and our poverty, the Lord makes of us an instrument of grace and a visible sign of His love for all humanity. We may become a cause of scandal. Yes. But we can also become a witness.”
Before concluding his addess, Pope Francis prayed for 43 students who were kidnapped in Mexico. He also repeated his call to the international community to overcome the Ebola epidemic that continues to spread globally.