Pope Francis at Santa Marta: God with us is like father that knows his son must still grow
In his homily at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis reiterated that God doesn't want to punish anyone, because He's a father and knows his children have a long way to go.
“It is helpful to me to see this attitude of the Lord: the [attitude of a] father with the child who thinks he is big, that he is all grown up, and yet is only halfway there. And the Lord knows that all of us are halfway there, and often we need this, we need to hear these words: ‘Come on, don’t be afraid, come. There is forgiveness.’”
Thus, the pope asked priests not to make a scene about the serious sins they hear during confession and to know how to receive people who seek their help.
EXCERPTS FROM THE POPE'S HOMILY
(Source: Vatican News)
“He does not threaten,” the Pope said, but instead, calls us “with kindness, gentleness, giving us confidence.” In the reading, after having pointed out to them the evil they should avoid and the good they should do, the Lord says to the rulers of Sodom and the people of Gomorrah: “Come, let us reason together.” And, the Pope said, He does the same with us:
“The Lord says, ‘Come now, let us reason together,’ Let’s talk for a while. He doesn’t frighten us. He is like a father of a small child who has pulled a prank, and he has to correct him. And he knows that if he approaches him with a stick in hand, things will not go well. He has to approach him with trust and confidence. In this passage, this is how the Lord calls us: ‘Come on, let’s have a coffee together. Let’s talk this over, let’s discuss it. Don’t be afraid, I’m not going to beat you.’ And since he knows his child is thinking ‘But I did something wrong…’, he immediately [adds], ‘Even if your sins be like scarlet, they may become white as snow. If they be crimson red, they may become like wool.'”
“Let us thank the Lord for His goodness. He does not want to beat us and condemn us. He gave His life for us and this is His goodness. And He is always looking for a way to get to the heart. And when we priests, in the place of the Lord, have to hear confessions, we too should have this attitude of goodness. As the Lord says: ‘Come on, let’s discuss this. It’s no problem, there is forgiveness.’ And from the beginning, there is no threat.”
“It is helpful to me to see this attitude of the Lord: the [attitude of a] father with the child who thinks he is big, that he is all grown up, and yet is only halfway there. And the Lord knows that all of us are halfway there, and often we need this, we need to hear these words: ‘Come on, don’t be afraid, come. There is forgiveness.’ And this encourages us. Go to the Lord with an open heart: He is the Father who is waiting for you.”