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Never underestimate God's patience and mercy, Pope tells faithful

Catholic World News - April 08, 2013

As he celebrated Mass in the Roman basilica of St. John Lateran on the feast of Divine Mercy, Pope Francis assured the faithful: “God always waits for us, even when we have drawn away from him!”

In his homily for the feast day, the Pope concentrated on God’s patience: the patience that he showed to St. Thomas, who questioned his Resurrection; to St. Peter, who denied him; and to the disciples on the road to Emmaus, who had begun to lose hope. In each case, the Pope observed, the Gospel shows how Jesus waited for his followers to understand and accept Him.

Pope Francis said that as a priest he has frequently encountered people who underestimate God’s patience and mercy:

How many times in my pastoral ministry have I heard it repeated: “Father, I have many sins;” and the plea I have always made is: “Don’t be afraid. Go to him. He is waiting for you. He will take care of everything.”

During the Mass on April 7 the Pope formally “took possession” of the cathedra in the Lateran basilica as the Bishop of Rome. He received acts of obedience from Cardinal Agostino Vallini, the vicar for Rome, and from representatives of the clergy, religious, and laity of the diocese.

Later on Sunday, after returning to the Vatican, the Pope addressed the public gathered in St. Peter’s Square for his Angelus audience, commenting on the words that Jesus spoke to St. Thomas during his second appearance to the apostles after his Resurrection. “And who are those who believe without having seen?” the Pope asked. He answered: “In every time and in every place there are the blessed who, through the Word of God proclaimed in the Church and witnessed to by Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is God's love incarnate, Mercy incarnate. And that goes for all of us!”

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