Pope at Angelus: God's justice is the mercy that saves
By Thaddeus Jones
Following the Mass with baptisms in the Sistine Chapel, Pope Francis led the midday Angelus in Saint Peter's Square. In his address before leading the Marian prayer, he described how Jesus in having himself baptized by John reveals God's justice, as Jesus says to him: “Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfil all righteousness.”
The Pope observed that our idea of justice is often only about righting something that was wronged, but God's justice has a much wider meaning, focusing on "salvation and rebirth," over condemnation of the guilty.
God's justice is about making us "his children, righteous" the Pope underscored, and is not intended to level penalties and punishments, but about freeing us from evil, "healing us, raising us up again."
In this way, the Lord shows that God's justice is "the mercy that saves, the love that shares our human condition," in closeness and solidarity, "entering into our darkness to restore light."
The Pope concluded by underscoring that we also are called to exercise justice in the same way in our families, communities and the Church. And this means not with harshness, judgement and condemnation, dividing people into the good and the bad, but by focusing on mercy and understanding each other's weaknesses so we can help each other rise above them, in summary, not by dividing, but by sharing.
After leading the Angelus prayer and imparting his apostolic blessing, Pope Francis recalled that he baptized 13 infants in the Sistine Chapel earlier in the morning, and he offered his blessing to babies around the world being baptized on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. He encouraged everyone to celebrate the day of one's own baptism, the "birthday" of your faith. And if you do not know the date of your baptism, well, find out, he said, and mark it on your calendar, as it is a day to remember, to cherish and to celebrate.
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