Jesus, he said, "awaits each one of us, whatever sin we have committed, to embrace us, to offer us his forgiveness. Only he can give full meaning to our existence, giving us true joy."
By entering through the door that is Jesus, we are able to let go of "worldly attitudes, of bad habits, of selfishness and closure," and experience an authentic change through the Holy Spirit, he said.
In off-the-cuff comments, Pope Francis urged pilgrims to pause for a moment to reflect on what impedes them from opening the door to Jesus, as well as the door of mercy he offers to us.
"The Lord offers us many occasions to save ourselves and enter through the door of salvation," the Pope said, adding that "this door is the opportunity that must not be wasted."
Francis stressed that giving "academic speeches" on salvation isn't necessary to enter through the gate, but instead we must "seize the opportunities of salvation" that are given to us.
He turned to the Gospel passage, in which Jesus recounts how the master of the house "has arisen and locked the door," telling those who knock outside asking to be let in: "I do not know where you are from."
If God is merciful and loves us, "why does he close the door?" Francis asked, explaining that he does it "because our life is not a videogame or a soap opera; our life is serious and the goal to achieve is important: eternal salvation."
Pope Francis closed his address by asking Mary to intercede in helping all to "seize the opportunities" the Lord offers us to enter by the wide road. This road, he said, is one "of salvation capable of welcoming all those who allow themselves to be involved with love."
"It's love that saves, love which already on earth is a source of beatitude for those, in meekness, patience and justice, forget about themselves and give themselves to others, especially the most vulnerable."