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Pope Francis visits Rome parish: "Sin is like a slap to God"


The pope visited a church in Rome, and before celebrating Sunday Mass there he stopped to hear the confessions of several people. It was the modern parish of St. Magdalene of Canossa, which, as you can hear, has a well-rehearsed choir.

The pope did not bring a written homily with him, but he delivered a meditation on the story of the Transfiguration of Jesus that was explained in the Gospel of the day.

He recalled the words of St. Paul, who said that Jesus who is God became sin to save mankind from sin.

"Sin is the most ugly thing: sin is an offense to God, a slap to God, it is saying to God: 'I don't care about You, I prefer this'... And Jesus has become sin; He lowered himself. In order to prepare the disciples not to be scandalized by seeing Him like this on the Cross, He was transfigured."

The pope asked Catholics during this Lent to pray and contemplate the glorious face of Christ and also that of Christ who suffers in the Passion, done for all sins.

"May this contemplation encourage us to ask forgiveness for our sins, to not to sin so much. Let it encourage us, above all, to have confidence. For if He became sin, He has taken our sins upon Himself. He is always ready to forgive us. We just have to ask."

These people gave the pope a crucifix and a painting. Pope Francis, as a traditional gesture, gave a chalice to the church.

In addition to the Mass, the four hour visit included the pope casually interacting with the children studying the catechism. He spoke to them for a long time, joking with them while teaching them not to argue, to reconcile when they become angry and to listen to their friends.

- BN