Catholic World News

Pope reflects on Christ’s forgiveness of the tearful penitent

April 20, 2016

Continuing his series of Wednesday catecheses on mercy, Pope Francis devoted his April 20 general audience to Christ’s forgiveness of a penitent woman.

“We now consider the Gospel episode of Jesus’ dinner at the home of Simon the Pharisee,” Pope Francis told the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square, according to the official English-language synthesis of his remarks. “St. Luke tells us that a woman known as a sinner came up to Jesus, bathed his feet in her tears and anointed them with precious perfume.”

“The Pharisee, judging by appearances, is taken aback that Jesus is not afraid of contact with sinners,” Pope Francis continued. “The Lord distinguishes between the sin and the sinner. He teaches Simon that the woman’s act, as an expression of faith and trust in God’s mercy, has merited the forgiveness of her sins.”

The Pope added:

The story of the sinful woman reminds us that God’s mercy reaches out to everyone; it overcomes prejudice and surmounts all barriers. Through faith in Christ, we too have received the forgiveness of our sins and the new life of grace. Having experienced this mystery of redeeming love, may we grow in gratitude for so great a gift, and in turn become witnesses and channels of that love in our families, our communities and our world.


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