10-June-2013 -- Catholic News Agency |

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Pope: God Forgives Sins That Wound

(http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=27399)

VATICAN CITY, June 9 (CNA/EWTN News) .- Pope Francis on Sunday emphasized the mercy of God, declaring that God always those who show him the "inner wounds" of their sins.

"If we show our inner wounds, our sins, he always forgives us," Pope Francis told thousands of pilgrims at Saint Peter's Square.

"Let us never forget this, he is pure mercy, let us go to Jesus!" he exclaimed during his Angelus noon prayer June 9.

Pope Francis emphasized that we should not be afraid to approach Jesus because he has a "merciful heart."

The Church traditionally dedicates the month of June to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which reveals his infinite mercy towards people.

The Pope said that the Feast of the Sacred Heart, celebrated June 7, "sets the tone" for the whole month.

"The heart of Jesus is the ultimate symbol of God's mercy, but it is not an imaginary symbol, it is a real symbol, which represents the center, the source from which salvation for all humanity gushed forth," said the Pope.

"But the mercy of Jesus is not just sentiment: indeed it is a force that gives life, that raises man up!" he exclaimed on the cloudy day at the Vatican.

He stated that there are several references to the heart of Jesus in the Gospels.

He cited Matthew 11, where Jesus says "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart."

Pope Francis also cited "the key story" of the death of Jesus according to Saint John.

"This evangelist testifies to what he saw on Calvary, that a soldier, when Jesus was already dead, pierced his side with a spear, and from the wound flowed blood and water," he said.

"Saint John recognized in that, apparently random sign, the fulfillment of prophecies," he added. "From the heart of Jesus, the lamb slain on the cross, flow forgiveness and life for all men."

The Pope cited Sunday's gospel reading, taken from Luke 7, as another example of the mercy of Jesus.

The reading tells how Jesus, with his disciples, arrived in the village of Nain in Galilee at the very moment in which a funeral is taking place.

"A boy is buried, the only son of a widow, Jesus' gaze immediately fixes itself on the weeping mother," Pope Francis said.

Saint Luke wrote, "seeing her, the Lord was moved with great compassion for her."

"This compassion is the love of God for man, it is mercy, the attitude of God in contact with human misery, with our poverty, our suffering, our anguish," said the Pope.

He believes that the biblical term "compassion" links the way God loves us to the way a mother loves her children, to the point of experiencing their pain when they suffer.

"What is the fruit of this love?" he asked. "It is life!"

The Pope told how Jesus said to the widow of Nain "do not weep" and then called the dead boy awaking him as if he had been asleep.

"The mercy of God gives life to man, it raises him from the dead," said the pontiff.

"The Lord is always watching us with mercy, always awaits us with mercy," he added.

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