Jesus replaced law of revenge with law of love, Pope says

Jesus replaced law of revenge with law of love, Pope says

The scales of justice cannot solve everything, especially when it comes to stopping a cycle of evil vengeance, Pope Francis said.

“Evil knows revenge and if it is not halted, it risks spreading, suffocating the whole world,” he said on April 24 during his weekly general audience.

Christians must forgive and love others even beyond what is due to stop the cycle of evil and to start things anew, he told thousands of people gathered in St Peter’s Square, which was still decorated with bright yellow, red and other colourful flowers from his Easter celebrations.

Pope Francis continued his general audience talks about the Lord’s Prayer by looking at how people ask God to “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”.

The use of the word “trespasses” in the original Greek of the Gospel means “being in debt”, so this part of the prayer recognises how much people are in debt to God, especially for the gift of life and his infinite love and mercy, the Pope said.

The so-called “‘self-made man’ doesn’t exist in the Church,” he said, because Christians recognise the divine gifts and graces bestowed on them and the “beneficial conditions in life” they received from others.

“Those who pray, learn to say, ‘Thank you.’ Many times, we forget to say, ‘Thank you.’ We are selfish.”

Those who seek to live a Christian life also realise “there always will be something” for which they will need to ask God’s forgiveness, for example, for being too lazy or letting rancour take over one’s heart, he said.

It would have been wonderful, the Pope said, if the prayer only asked God to forgive one’s debts to him, however, God asks for more.

“God’s grace, so abundant, is always challenging” because God asks people to do unto others, what he has done for them. “God, who is good, invites all of us to be good,” the Pope added.