2010-11-01 16:00:47

God is especially close to lost souls - Pope

(November 1, 2010) God desires that all be saved and especially seeks out those who are lost. Pope Benedict XVI made the point on Sunday to a large crowd that had gathered below his studio window in St. Peter’s Square in Rome to pray the Sunday midday “Angelus” prayer with him. "God excludes no one, neither the poor nor the rich," he said focussing on God's mercy as demonstrated in Sunday’s Gospel episode of Zacchaeus. Jesus caused a major scandal by entering the house of Zacchaeus a rich tax-collector, but regarded a public sinner because he was extorting money from Jews as tax for the Roman emperor. However deeply moved by Jesus' visit, Zacchaeus decided to change his life, and promised to restore four times what he had stolen," the Pope said, adding, Jesus "did not condemn him but he met his desire for salvation." "God does not let Himself be conditioned by our human prejudices, but sees in everyone a soul to save and is especially attracted to those who are judged as lost and who think themselves so," the Pope said. "Jesus Christ, the incarnation of God, has demonstrated this immense mercy, which takes nothing away from the gravity of sin, but aims always at saving the sinner, at offering him the possibility of redemption, of starting over from the beginning, of converting," the Holy Father affirmed.

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