The Pope offered Mass for the Fifth Sunday of Lent today in the parish church of the Vatican, Saint Anne’s. In the picture Francis is seen with Pietro Orlandi, the brother of Emanuela who disappeared in 1983; the Orlandi family were parishioners of Saint Anne’s and she sang in the choir, the father was an employee of the Vatican bank. Emanuela is presumed dead. The homily was unscripted but Vatican Radio offered this summary.
Pope Francis said, “If we are like the Pharisee before the altar, [who said], ‘Thank you, Lord, for not making me like all the other men, and especially not like that fellow at the door, like that publican…,’ well, then we do not know the heart of the Lord, and we shall not ever have the joy of feeling this mercy.” Pope Francis went on to say, “It is not easy trust oneself to the mercy of God, because [His mercy] is an unfathomable abyss – but we must do it!” Pope Francis continued, “He has the ability to forget, [which is] special: He forgets [our sins], He kisses you, He embraces you, and He says to you, ‘Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now, on, sin no more.’ Only that counsel does He give you.” Pope Francis concluded, saying, “We ask for the grace of never tiring of asking pardon, for He never tires of pardoning.”