It was a warm and lively general audience in St. Peter's Square. Pope Francis waved from the Popemobile, as always, to the thousands of pilgrims who came to hear his catechesis.
The Pope explained how sincere repentance can win over God's heart and his unconditional forgiveness.
He recalled the Gospel passage in which a woman repenting her sins comes to a Pharisee's home and washes Jesus' feet. Pope Francis said that the Pharisee despises her because he is a hypocrite and does not recognize his own sin.
"We are all sinners. But often we fall into the temptation of hypocrisy, to think we are better than others. But look at your sin; look at all our sins, our falls, our mistakes.”
The Pope said that we must distinguish between sin, radical opposition to the love of God, and sinners, whom we must help start a new life.
"Christ does not accept sin, which is the radical opposition of God's love. He does not reject
sinners, but welcomes them. Jesus, the Holy One of God, allows himself to be touched by them, without fear of being contaminated, he forgives them and frees them from the isolation to which they were condemned by the ruthless judgment of those who believed themselves to be perfect, opening up their future.”
At the end, the Pope mentioned in Spanish the earthquake in Ecuador, which has caused over 400 victims.
"And in this language that binds us to Spain and Latin America; I want to express to our brothers in Ecuador our solidarity and our prayers in this time of grief. Thank you.”
The Pope also recalled the war in Ukraine and said that this Sunday there will be a collection in Europe to help those affected.
Pope Francis also recalled the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and greeted a group of pilgrims participating in a conference to mark the 30th anniversary of the nuclear disaster.