Pope Francis said on Friday that the embrace of God’s love has the power to silence all our sins, no matter how many. He stressed that not all love comes from God but he is the true love. The pope’s words came during his homily at the morning Mass celebrated in the Santa Marta residence.
Taking his cue from the Gospel reading and from the letter of John the Apostle, Pope Francis’ homily was a reflection on the different meanings of the word 'love' and the two most important commandments for a Christian: to love God and to love our neighbor.
“This word ‘love’ is a word that is used so many times and when we use it we don’t know exactly what it means. What is love? Sometimes we can think of the love in the soap operas but that doesn’t appear to be love. Or else love can seem like having a crush on a person but then it fades away. Where does true love come from? Whoever loves has been created by God because God is love. Don’t say: ‘Every love is God,’ No, God is love.”
The pope said the Apostle John underlines how God loves us first and there are many examples of this in the Gospel such as during the multiplication of the loaves of bread by Jesus or in the parable of the prodigal son.
“When we have something on our mind and we want to ask God to forgive us, it’s he who is waiting for us – to forgive us. This Jubilee Year of Mercy, to some extent, is also this: that we may know that our Lord is waiting for us, each one of us. Why? To embrace us. Nothing more. To say to us: son, daughter, I love you. I let my Son be crucified for you: this is the price of my love, this is the gift of my love.”
Pope Francis went on to stress how “the Lord is waiting for me, the Lord wants me to open the door of my heart” and we must have this certainty that he will wait for us just as we are and not as we are told to be.
“We must go to the Lord and say: ‘You know Lord how much I love you.’ Or, if you don’t feel able to say it in that way: ‘You know Lord that I would like to love you but I am such a bad sinner.’ And he will do the same as he did with the prodigal son who squandered all his money on vices: he won’t let you finish your speech and with an embrace will silence you. The embrace of God’s love.”