On the Tree with Zacchaeus

November 4, 2013 by  
Filed under The Pelican Group News

L’Osservatore Romano – November 4, 2013

At the Angelus the Pope recalls that Jesus never tires of forgiving

And in the Vatican Basilica he prays for the deceased cardinals and bishops

“Jesus is merciful and never grows tired of forgiving”. Pope Francis recalled this at the Angelus on Sunday, 3 November, taking up the Gospel teaching of the conversion of Zacchaeus with the faithful present in St Peter’s Square. “There is no occupation or social condition, no sin or crime of any kind that could erase one of God’s children from his memory and heart”.

“The man of small stature”, the Holy Father said, referring to the head of the publicans, “is lost in anonymity; but Jesus calls him and the name ‘Zacchaeus’ in the language of the time had a beautifully significant meaning, full of allusion “Zacchaeus” in fact means ‘God remembers’”.

In fact, the Lord, he added, “never forgets those who he created. He is Father, always watchfully waiting with love to see reborn in the hearts of the child the desire to return home. And when he recognizes that desire, even simply stated, he is immediately near, and with his forgiveness he makes the path of conversion and return easier”.

Then the Pope, in order reinforce the point, recalled the “ridiculous action” of Zacchaeus, who climbed the tree: a ridiculous action but also one of salvation. Then speaking to the thousands of people in St Peter’s Square, he said: “I say to you: if you have a weight on your conscience, if you are ashamed of so many things that you’ve done, stop for a moment, do not be afraid. Think about the fact that that someone is waiting for you because he has never stopped remembering you; and this someone is your Father, it is God who waits for you! Climb up, as did Zacchaeus, climb onto the tree of the desire of being forgiven. I will assure you that you will not be disappointed. Jesus is merciful and never grows tired of forgiving! Remember well, that’s the way Jesus is”.

Then this morning, Monday, 4 November, the Pope celebrated Mass at the Altar of the Chair in St Peter’s Basilica. At the Mass in remembrance of the cardinals, archbishops and bishops who died this year, he recalled that their lives were dedicated to serving God and the brethren. It was precisely because of this dedication that they are now “in the hands of God”.

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