(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis says God loves each and every one of us, He is totally extraneous to the “throwaway culture” of today and like the good shepherd he does not want a single person to be lost.
Speaking on Wednesday at the weekly General Audience, Pope Francis continued his catechesis for this Holy Year of Mercy reflecting on the parable of the Good Shepherd.
Listen to the report by Linda Bordoni:
He said that the Lord uses the image of the shepherd who leaves his flock to go in search of one lost sheep to express God’s closeness to sinners. He emphasized that God does not want even a single person to be lost and that in his infinite mercy, he is always ready to meet us wherever we are.
And reflecting on the “throwaway culture” of the contemporary world, the Pope said it is something that is totally foreign to God who would never “throw away” a single person.
“God loves all, he reaches out to every person: one by one! He knows nothing about
‘throwing away people’ because He is all about love and mercy” he said.
The example of the Good Shepherd, Pope Francis continued, also challenges us to go out in search of those in particular need of God’s mercy, especially those who have gone astray.
He said that Jesus teaches us that in his eyes there are no lost sheep, but only sheep needing to be found and that the joy which the Good Shepherd feels must also be the joy of the entire flock.
Continuing to reflect on the parable the Pope pointed out that the faithful must also resist the temptation to close themselves in the pen where there may be no ‘stink of sheep’ but the stuffiness of a closed and airless room.
“Christians, he said, must never be closed. Ever! We must not be closed within ourselves, or within small communities or parishes thinking we are ‘right’.
Christians, he said, are called to embrace the missionary spirit that takes them into the world to encounter others.
He said that for the Lord no one is definitely lost: “He looks for us up until the very last moment”.
Pope Francis concluded saying that we are all lost sheep who were found by the Lord’s mercy.
“No distance can keep the shepherd far from his sheep; no flock can afford to give up on a member” he said.
And he called us to rejoice in his merciful love, to bring that love to others and to join him in gathering all into the fold.
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