ROME — Jesus’ love for each person is a concrete love, a love that is addressed to each person “with their first and last name,” Pope Francis said.
Celebrating Mass Oct. 31 in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae where he lives, Francis focused on the day’s first reading from St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans and particularly on St. Paul’s conviction that nothing can “separate us from the love of Christ.”
God sent Jesus into the world “to save us” and “he did so with love,” the pope said. “He gave his life for me. There is no greater love than to give your life for another person. Think about a mother — a mother’s love, for example — who gives her life for her child, accompanying him or her through life in difficult moments.”
In the same way, the pope said, “Jesus’ love is near to us, and is not an abstract love.”
St. Paul understood and experienced God’s love as tender, the pope said.
“If we cannot feel or understand the tender love of God in Jesus for each of us, then we will never, never, be able to understand the love of Christ,” he said. “It is a type of love that waits patiently, like the love with which Jesus plays his last card with Judas,” calling him “friend” and “offering him a way out, even at the end.”
Jesus “loves even the worst sinners with this tenderness,” the pope said, encouraging people to think more about “Jesus being so tender — Jesus who cries, as he cried before the tomb of Lazarus, as he cried here (Lk 13:34-35) looking out over Jerusalem.”
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