Vatican City, Sep 11, 2022 / 05:05 am (CNA).
Pope Francis urged Catholics Sunday to imitate the Lord’s dedicated search “for the lost sheep” by reaching out to friends and family who have drifted away from the faith.
“The Father asks us to be attentive to the children he misses the most. Let us think of someone we know, who is close to us and has perhaps never heard anyone say, ‘You know, you are important to God,’” Pope Francis said on Sept. 11.
Speaking from the window of the Apostolic Palace, the pope reflected on Jesus’ parables of mercy in the Gospel of Luke, particularly the parable of a shepherd who leaves 99 sheep in the desert to search for one who was lost.
“One who loves is concerned about the one who is missing, longs for who is absent, seeks who is lost, awaits those who have gone astray. For he wants no one to be lost,” the pope said in his Angelus address.
“Brothers and sisters, God is like this: he does not “take it easy” if we stray from Him, he is grieved, He trembles in his innermost being; and he sets out to look for us until He takes us back into his arms.”
Pope Francis asked Catholics to reflect upon whether they imitate the Lord in seeking out those who are missing from their communities or whether they are content to be comfortable and calm within their own groups.
He said: “Let us then reflect on our relationships: do I pray for those who do not believe, who have drifted away?”
“Let us be troubled by these questions, and pray to Our Lady, mother who never tires of searching for and taking care of us, her children,” he added.
At the end of his Angelus address, the pope asked for people to continue to pray for the people of Ukraine that the Lord will be close to them and bring them hope. He announced that Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the papal almoner, will soon be heading back to Ukraine again to “give concrete witness of the closeness of the pope and the Church.”
Pope Francis asked for prayers for his upcoming trip to Kazakhstan, where he will participate in the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions during his visit to the capital city of Nur-Sultan from Sept. 13 to 15.
The pope also remembered the life of an Italian missionary sister, Sister Maria De Coppi, who was murdered by Islamist terrorists in Mozambique last week.
“May her witness give strength and courage to Christians and to all the people of Mozambique,” he said.
Pope Francis underlined in his Angelus message that God excludes no one and “loves everyone as his children.” Therefore, he said, the Lord “comes in search of us whenever we are lost.”
“Remember: God always awaits us with open arms, whatever the situation in life in which we are lost may be,” he said.
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His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.’ But his father ordered his servants, ‘Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.’ Then the celebration began.
So just how does someone who is ‘dead’ and ‘lost’, ‘come to life again’?
I am reaching out.
Divine Mercy in My Soul, 965
Jesus looked at me and said, Souls perish in spite of My bitter Passion. I am giving them the last hope of salvation; that is, the Feast of My Mercy. If they will not adore My mercy, they will perish for all eternity. Secretary of My mercy, write, tell souls about this great mercy of Mine, because the awful day, the day of My justice, is near.
Divine Mercy in My Soul, 1448
Tell souls where they are to look for solace; that is, in the Tribunal of Mercy (the Sacrament of Reconciliation). There the greatest miracles take place (and) incessantly repeated. To avail oneself of this miracle, it is not necessary to go on a great pilgrimage or to carry out some external ceremony; it suffices to come with faith to the feet of My representative and to reveal to him one’s misery, and the miracle of Divine Mercy will be fully demonstrated. Were a soul like a decaying corpse so that from a human standpoint, there would be no (hope of) restoration and everything would already be lost, it is not so with God. The miracle of Divine Mercy restores that soul in full. Oh, how miserable are those who do not take advantage of the miracle of God’s mercy! You will call out in vain, but it will be too late.
How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few…
…Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. So by their fruits you will know them. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.
Divine Mercy in My Soul, 699,
I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet.
“The Father has given over to him power to pass judgment because he is Son of Man; no need for you to be surprised at this, for an hour is coming in which all those in their tombs shall hear his voice and come forth. Those who have done right shall rise to live; the evildoers shall rise to be damned.”
Divine Mercy in My Soul, 635, The Blessed Virgin Mary :
… you have to speak to the world about His great mercy and prepare the world for the Second Coming of Him who will come, not as a merciful Savior, but as a just Judge. Oh, how terrible is that day! Determined is the day of justice, the day of divine wrath. The angels tremble before it. Speak to souls about this great mercy while it is still the time for [granting] mercy. If you keep silent now, you will be answering for a great number of souls on that terrible day.
His Eminence Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the papal almoner, is a man of deep faith, courage, and a sense of duty, come what may. God bless the Cardinal and his mission.