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Saturday, September 10, 2016

Jubilee Audience concerning redemption

At 10:00am today, the Jubilee Audience began in Saint Peter's Square.  In his speech, the Pope added a meditation on redemption (1 Peter 1:18-21).

Following the customary summaries of his catechesis in various languages, the Holy Father addressed particular greetings to each group of the faithful in attendance.

The Jubilee Audience concluded with the chanting of the Pater Noster and the Apostolic blessing.

Catechesis of the Holy Father, Pope Francis
for the Jubilee Audience

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

The passage that we have heard speaks of God's mercy which is realized in Redemption, in the salvation that was given through the blood of his Son Jesus (cf 1 Peter 1:18-21).  The word redemption is rarely used, yet it is an important word because it indicates the most radical liberation that God could secure for us, for all of humanity and for all of creation.  It seems that these days, people don't like to think about being free and saved through an intervention from God; people today are under the illusion that they are free and therefore able to have anything they want.  They even boast about this.  But in reality, this is not the case.  How often illusions are sold under the pretext of freedom and how often new slaveries are created these days in the name of false freedom!  So many, many slaves: I'm doing this because I want to do it, I take drugs because I want to, I am free, I am doing what I want to do.  They are slaves!  They become slaves in the name of freedom.  We have all seen people of this sort who eventually end up on the floor.  We need God to free us from every form of indifference, from egotism and from self-reliance.

The words of the Apostle Paul express very well the sense of the new state of life to which we are called.  Making himself one of us, the Lord Jesus not only assumed our human condition, but he raised us up to the possibility of being children of God.  With his death and resurrection, Jesus Christ, the Lamb without blemish, conquered death and sin in order to free us from their power.  He is the Lamb who was sacrificed for us, so that we could receive a new life of forgiveness, love and joy.  These three words are beautiful: forgiveness, love and joy.  All that He took upon himself was also redeemed, freed and saved.  Surely, it is true that life tests us, and at times we suffer for it.  However, at such moments, we are invited to turn our gaze toward the crucified Jesus, who suffers for us and with us, as certain proof that God does not abandon us.  Let us never forget, however, that in distress and in the midst of persecution, as well as in the midst of our daily struggles, we are always freed by the merciful hand of God who raises us to himself and leads us to a new life.

God's love is infinite: we are constantly discovering signs that he is paying attention to us and especially that he is willing to reach out to us and even to go before us.  Our entire life, though it is marked by weakness and sin, is placed under the gaze of God who loves us.  Many pages of the Sacred Scriptures speak of the presence, the closeness and the tenderness of God for every person, especially for the little ones, the poor and the afflicted!  God has great tenderness, great love for children, for the weak, for those who are ignored by society.  The more we are in need, the more his gaze is upon us to fill us with his mercy.  He is filled with compassion for us because he knows our weaknesses.  He knows our sins and he forgives us; he always forgives!  This is very good, our Father is very good.

For this reason, dear brothers and sisters, we open ourselves to him, we welcome his grace!  For, as the Psalmist says: with the Lord there is mercy / and with him there is great redemption (Ps 130:7).

The Holy Father's catechesis was then summarized in various languages, and he himself offered greetings to each group of pilgrims in attendance at this morning's Jubilee Audience.  To English-speaking pilgrims, he said:

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, particularly those from Botswana, South Africa, the Philippines and the United States of America. During your visit to the Eternal City, may your faith in the crucified and risen Christ be renewed and strengthened. May God fill you with his reconciling and tender mercy. God bless you all!
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