Often, the Pope said, we deny that our sins have any power over us, when in reality they are another type of slavery.
The Sept. 10 gathering at the Vatican was the latest in a series of special audiences for the Jubilee Year of Mercy, which are being held throughout the year in addition to the weekly general audiences on Wednesdays.
In addition to the audience, on his way to St. Peter’s square Saturday, Pope Francis stopped to greet and confirm as Catholic Giuseppe Chiolo, a young man in a wheelchair, L’Osservatore Romano reported.
Our unwillingness to open ourselves to salvation keeps us from receiving the true freedom provided by God’s forgiveness, Pope Francis preached.
“We need God to deliver us from all forms of indifference, selfishness and self-sufficiency,” he continued.
Francis noted that life is often difficult and filled with suffering, however, we are invited to turn our gaze on the crucified Jesus, “who suffers for us and with us, as certain proof that God does not abandon us.”
Even in persecution and distress, or in the pain of daily life, God’s merciful hand lifts us up to him and gives us a new life, he said.
“God’s love is boundless: we discover new signs indicating his attention towards us and especially its willingness to reach and go before us.”
“Beautiful are these three words: forgiveness, love and joy. All that He has taken has also been redeemed, liberated and saved,” the Pope continued.
“Our whole life, though marked by the fragility of sin, is placed under the gaze of God who loves us,” he said. “The more we are in need, the more his gaze on us is full of mercy.”