Pope at Angelus: 'God always searches for us when we are lost'

At the Sunday Angelus, Pope Francis reminds us that God is our Father who comes in search of us whenever we are lost, awaiting us with open arms, while encouraging us to show others the same closeness, compassion and tenderness God has for us.

By Vatican News staff reporter

Greeting pilgrims in St. Peter's Square for the Sunday Angelus prayer, Pope Francis shared reflections on the day's Gospel reading, which presents three parables of mercy Jesus tells in response to the pharisees and scribes who complained about His welcoming sinners and eating with them.

The Pope said these parables reveal that God "excludes no one; He wants everyone at His banquet, because He loves everyone as His children."

God always seeks out the lost

The heart of today's message in these parables, the Pope pointed out, is that "God is the Father and comes in search of us whenever we are lost."

The three protagonists in the parables - the shepherd who searches for the lost sheep, the woman who finds a lost coin and the father of the prodigal son - all show worry for the lost, the Pope observed. 

“One who loves is concerned about the one who is missing, longs for who is absent, seeks who is lost, await who has gone astray. For he wants no-one to be lost.”

God awaits us with open arms

The Pope added that God does not "rest easy" and indeed is "grieved" if we stray from Him. 

“He trembles in His innermost being; and He sets out to look for us, until He takes us back into His arms.”

He said the Lord never calculates losses or risks, but rather has "the heart of a father and a mother, and suffers for the lack of His beloved children."

Called to show compassion

Pope Francis urged each of us to ask ourselves whether we imitate the Lord in His care for those who have strayed from God.

“Do we have nostalgia for those who are missing, who have drifted from Christian life? Do we carry this inner restlessness, or are we serene and undisturbed among ourselves? In other words, do we truly miss those who are missing from our communities? Or are we comfortable among ourselves, calm and blissful in our groups, without compassion for those who are far away?”

The Pope urged Christians to pray for those who do not believe and to share God's "closeness, compassion, and tenderness" with them.

Everyone is important to God

God the Father, concluded the Pope, invites us to be attentive to the "children He misses the most".

"Let us think of someone we know, who is close to us and has perhaps never heard anyone say, 'You know, you are important to God'," he said. "Let us be troubled by these questions, and pray to Our Lady, our mother who never tires of searching for and taking care of us, her children."

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11 September 2022, 12:09

The Angelus is a special prayer recited by Catholics three times a day, at 6am, noon, and 6pm and is accompanied by the ringing of the Angelus bell. The name comes from the Latin word for Angel and the prayer itself reminds us of how Jesus Christ assumed our human nature through the Mystery of the Incarnation.
The Pope recites the Angelus prayer in St Peter’s Square every Sunday at midday.
He also gives a brief reflection on the Gospel of the day and often comments on some issue of international concern. The Pope’s words are broadcast all over the world on radio and television and widely shared on social media.
From Easter to Pentecost the Regina Coeli is prayed instead of the Angelus. This prayer commemorates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and, like the Angelus, concludes with the recitation of the Gloria three times.

Latest Angelus / Regina Coeli

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