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Pope Francis in the general audience: God does not look to our past but to the future

2016-04-13

(ONLY VIDEO) During the general audience, the Pope recalled the election of Matthew, one of the twelve apostles. He said that Christ does not look at people based on their past, their social status or their appearances. God loves everyone.

However, he pointed out that the love of Jesus can only be reciprocated by those who are humble. Those who think they are better, the proud and arrogant, he said, feel no need for God's mercy, and therefore, they cannot see or accept Him.

FULL CATECHESIS IN ENGLISH

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

In our catechesis for this Holy Year of Mercy, we now consider the Gospel account of the calling of Saint Matthew.  Jesus not only invites a tax-collector, a public sinner, to be his disciple, but also sits at table with him, thus scandalizing the Pharisees. 

The Lord then explains that he has come to call not the righteous but sinners.  The calling of Matthew reminds us that when Christ makes us his disciples, he does not look to our past but to the future.  

We need but respond to his call with a humble and sincere heart.  Jesus invites us to sit with him at the table of the Eucharist, in which he purifies us by the power of his word and by the sacrament unites us ever more deeply to himself.  Citing the prophet Hosea, he tells us that what God desires is "mercy, not sacrifice”, true conversion of heart and not merely formal acts of religion.  

May all of us, acknowledging our sins, respond more generously to the Lord’s invitation to sit at table with him, and with one another, with immense gratitude for his infinite mercy and saving love.

I greet the English-speaking visitors taking part in today’s Audience, particularly the pilgrims from England, Scotland, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, China, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Canada and the United States of America.  In the joy of the Risen Lord, I invoke upon you and your families the loving mercy of God our Father.  May the Lord bless you all!





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