The Pope's message for the Angelus centered on the day's Gospel on the tax collector Zacchaeus, a "public sinner," who cannot get close to Jesus and so instead climbs a tree in order to see him.
"When he gets close to that tree," Pope Francis said," Jesus looks up and tells him, 'Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.'"
"We can imagine the astonishment of Zacchaeus!" But why does Jesus say he must stay at Zacchaeus' house? What is his duty? the Pope asked.
The highest duty of Jesus, Pope Francis explained, is his death and resurrection, the fulfillment of the Father's plan for humanity.
The salvation of humanity takes place through the Father's mercy, the same salvation which is given to Zacchaeus, "a dishonest man," who is "despised by all, and therefore in need of conversion," the Pope noted.
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But, "the gaze of Jesus goes beyond sins and prejudices," he said. "He sees the person with the eyes of God, who does not stop at the bad past, but distinguishes a good future."
"He is not resigned to closures, but opens up new areas of life; He does not stop at appearances, but looks at the heart," Francis continued.
Sometimes we try to correct and convert sinners by scolding them for their mistakes, the Pope said. Instead, the attitude of Jesus and Zacchaeus shows us another way. The way of showing the sinner his or her value, "the value that God continues to see in spite of everything."