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A God as our father

· At the General Audience the Pope talks about the meaning of the Resurrection in the life of Christians ·

The Bishop of Rome close to the Iranian peoples hit by the earthquake

God is a father to Christians, indeed he is father. Our God is a father”, adding this thought to the text prepared for the General Audience, Pope Francis elicited the applause of the faithful who were packed into St Peter's Square on the sunny morning of 10 April.

At the traditional Wednesday event, swept up by the enthusiasm of the many groups of Latin Americans present – whom he greeted for the first time directly in Spanish, their language and his – the Pope devoted his weekly reflection to what Jesus' Resurrection means for the life of Christians, stressing that our faith is based on the Resurrection “exactly like a house that is supported by its foundations: if they give way”, he explained, “the whole house collapses”. Indeed with the Resurrection of Christ something absolutely new occurred: “we were delivered from the slavery of sin and became children of God”. This, the Pope added, happens with Baptism, through the Holy Spirit who “brings into being within us this new condition”, thanks to which the Lord “treats us as children, understand us, forgives us, embraces us and loves us even when we err. Of course”, the Pope said, “this filial relationship cannot resemble “a treasure we keep in a corner of our life”; on the contrary, “it must increase, it must be nourished every day with listening to the word of God, with prayer, with participation in the sacraments – especially Reconciliation and the Eucharist – and with love”. For Pope Bergoglio the Christian faith ultimately entails the commitment to follow Jesus, “even if we see our limitations and our weaknesses”, to obtain from him “fresh strength, also in our daily efforts”. These words are, as it were, echoed in the greeting the Holy Father addressed to the Arab-speaking faithful with the exhortation not to let themselves lose heart in the face of evil and death, for in the Resurrection of Christ lies “the certainty on which we must build our whole existence and our daily action”, and also ring out in the appeal launched at the end of the Audience to pray for the victims of the devastating earthquake that has hit Iran.

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St. Peter’s Square

Aug. 21, 2019

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