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Find joy in God's mercy, Pope urges Sunday audience

Catholic World News - September 16, 2013

“The joy of God is the joy of forgiveness,” Pope Francis told his Angelus audience on September 15.

Speaking about the parable of the Prodigal Son, the Pope said that God is the Father who never rejects his children, despite their misdeeds. “God is joyful when each sinner returns to Him and asks his forgiveness,” he told the crowd that had gathered in St. Peter’s Square despite a heavy rainfall.

Far from being a simple sentiment, the mercy offered by God is “the true force that can save man and the world from the 'cancer' of sin, from moral and spiritual malaise,” the Pope said.

The Pope cautioned the Christians are often reluctant to appreciate God’s mercy, and put themselves in the same position as the older brother of the prodigal son. He explained:

The danger is that we presume we are right, and so judge others. We also judge God, as we think He should punish sinners and condemn them to death, instead of forgiving them. This way we risk remaining outside our Father's house, like the elder brother in the parable, who instead of rejoicing in his brother's return, is angry with his father for welcoming him and celebrating.

The Pope encouraged each member of the audience to think of someone he was inclined to judge harshly, and say a prayer for that person instead.

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