Castelgandolfo, Italy, Sep 16, 2007 (CNA) - At noon today, the Holy Father greeted pilgrims gathered in the inner courtyard of his summer residence at Castelgandolfo, to pray the Angelus and receive a word of encouragement.
The Holy Father commented on today’s gospel about the prodigal son saying that it is “one of the loftiest and most moving passages in all of Sacred Scripture”.
“It is beautiful to think that throughout the whole world, wherever the Christian community gathers to celebrate the Sunday Eucharist, the Good News of truth and salvation resounds”, Benedict said.
His Holiness commented that “in this page of the Gospel, we can almost hear the voice of Jesus, who reveals to us his Father’s and our Father’s face.”
Explaining Jesus’ reason for coming into the world, the Holy Father stated: “Deep down, this is why he came into the world: to speak to us of the Father; to make him known to us lost children, and to resurrect in our hearts the joy of belonging to him, the hope of being forgiven and restored to our full dignity, the desire of always dwelling in his house, which is also our house.”
Benedict noted that Jesus spoke these words to the Pharisees, who did not accept that he came into contact with sinners: “He explained, with his typical language, that God does not want even one of his children to be lost, and his soul overflows when a sinner converts. True religion consists in entering into harmony with this Heart that is “rich in mercy”, who calls us to love everyone, even those far away, as well as enemies.”
The Pope insisted that “humanity needs the mercy of God to be proclaimed and witnessed to with vigor”, and recalled that John Paul II was prophetic in his pastoral as an apostle of Divine Mercy.
Benedict concluded his words before the Angelus with the prayer that “the Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy, whom yesterday we have contemplated, Sorrowful at the foot of the Cross, obtain for us the gift of always trusting in the love of God and help us to be merciful like our heavenly Father.”