Vatican City, Dec 6, 2015 / 09:03 am
In his Angelus address for the second Sunday of Advent, Pope Francis spoke against the presumption that the need for conversion applies only to non-believers, and that Christians are somehow exempt.
“No one can say: 'I am holy, I am perfect, I am already saved',” the Pope said Dec. 6 to the crowds in St. Peter's Square. “No. We must always welcome this offer of salvation.”
Stressing that salvation is offered to everyone, the pontiff explained that this is the reason for the Year of Mercy: “to go ever forward along this path of salvation, that path which Jesus taught us. God wants all men to be saved through Jesus Christ, the only Mediator.”
“It is a pressing invitation to open our hearts and welcome the salvation which God incessantly, almost stubbornly, offers us, because he wants us to be freed from the slavery of sin,” the Pope said.
The Jubilee of Mercy is an Extraordinary Holy Year that will open this year on Dec. 8 – the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception – and will close Nov. 20, 2016 with the Solemnity of Christ the King.
Speaking two days ahead of the official start of the Jubilee of Mercy, the pontiff centered his pre-Angelus address on the theme of conversion, as shown in Gospel reading from the second Sunday of Advent in which John the Baptist proclaimed a “baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (Luke 3: 3).
He challenged Christians to examine whether their sentiments are in line with those of Jesus'.
For instance, in the face of wrongdoing, “are we able to react without animosity, and forgive from the heart he who asks forgiveness?” the Pope asked, stressing how difficult forgiveness can be.