Sin may distort and disfigure the image of Christ that every person bears, but it does not erase it nor remove people from God’s mercy, Pope Francis said.
At his weekly general audience December 2, the Pope said that even when a sinner remains “in error for a long time,” God waits patiently, “hoping that the sinner’s heart will eventually open and change”.
“God is like a good father and a good mother: They never stop loving their child, no matter what he or she may have done wrong,” the Pope said during the audience, which was livestreamed from the library of the Apostolic Palace.
While continuing his series of talks on prayer, Pope Francis also offered prayers for the victims of a terrorist attack November 28 in Nigeria; 43 farmers near the North-eastern city of Maiduguri were brutally murdered.
According to BBC News, no one has claimed responsibility. However, it is believed that either Boko Haram or the Islamic State West Africa terrorist organisations, both active in the area, were responsible.
Remembering the victims, the Pope prayed that God would “welcome them in his peace and comfort their families and convert the hearts of those who commit such horrors, which seriously offend his name”.
In his main talk, the Pope reflected that, even though sin “altered” the beauty of God’s creation and converted the human being into “a degenerate creature capable of spreading evil and death in the world,” it did not take away the inherent goodness embedded in each person.
God did not make a mistake creating the world or people, he said.
“The hope of the world lies entirely in God’s blessing: He continues to desire our good; he is the first, as the poet Peguy said, to continue to hope for our good,” the Pope said, citing the French poet Charles Peguy, whose works were heavily influenced by Catholicism.
Catholic News Service