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Rome Reports

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Pope: Jesus asks for conversion but does not threaten anyone

When Pope Francis finished touring St. Peter's Square in the popemobile, he went back to the first row again, looking for someone.

It was this lady from Brazil, who is sick and asked for a special blessing.

Then, in his catechesis, the pope continued his reflections on the Lord's Prayer. In particular, about the part "Your Kingdom Come."

Pope Francis recalled that Jesus often announced in his preaching people had to convert because "the Kingdom of God" was approaching.

"These words are not a threat at all; on the contrary, they are a happy announcement, a message of joy. Jesus does not want to push people to convert, sowing fear of the imminent judgment of God or the feeling of guilt for the wrong committed. Jesus does not proselytize, he simply announces. On the contrary, what He brings is the Good News of salvation, and from this He calls to convert."

The pope recognized that Christians often ask why Jesus' promises are not immediately fulfilled. Additionally, why the world is marked by sin and why there is hatred, war and violence?

"The Kingdom of God is certainly a huge force, the greatest that exists, but not according to the world's criteria. That's why it seems it never has an absolute majority. It is like yeast kneaded in flour: to appearances, it disappears, but it is precisely that which makes the dough ferment."

Pope Francis recalled that Jesus compared the Kingdom of God with a seed. It grows without attracting attention, although whoever has sown it is working or asleep.

"'Your Kingdom Come' is like saying: 'Come, Lord Jesus.' Jesus replies 'I will come soon.' Then Jesus comes, in His own way, but every day. We are going to trust this. When we pray the Lord's Prayer we always say 'Your Kingdom come,' to hear in our heart Jesus say, 'Yes, yes, I am coming, and I am coming soon.'"

The Holy Father reminded everyone about the beginning of Lent, which is a good opportunity the Church gives each person to renew their Christian life.