(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday continued his reflections on Christian hope, as he greeted thousands of pilgrims and visitors gathered in St Peter’s Square for his weekly general audience. A second group of sick and disabled pilgrims also took part in the encounter, following the pope live on video screens in the Paul VI audience hall.
Please find below the text of Pope Francis’ words to English speaking pilgrims present at the audience
Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our catechesis on Christian hope, we have found the source of that hope in God’s unconditional love, revealed for us in the coming of the Son and the gift of the Holy Spirit. None of us can live without love. Happiness comes from the experience of knowing love, freely given and received.
So much unhappiness in our world is born of the feeling of not being loved for our own sake. Faith teaches us that God loves us with an infinite love, not for any merit of our own, but out of his sheer goodness. Even when we stray from him, God seeks us out, like the merciful father in the parable of the prodigal son, offers us forgiveness, and restores us to his embrace.
In the words of Saint Paul: “While we still were sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8), so that we might become beloved sons and daughters of our heavenly Father. Through the resurrection of Jesus and the grace of the Holy Spirit, we become sharers in God’s own life of love. May all of us find in God’s embrace the promise of new life and freedom. For in his love is the source of all our hope.
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, particularly the groups from England, Sweden, Hong Kong, Pakistan, the Philippines, Korea, Thailand, Canada and the United States of America. Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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