Pope Francis, speaking to an overflow crowd of more than 150,000 in St Peter’s Square, urged the world on March 17 to be more forgiving and merciful and not so quick to condemn other people’s failures.
“A little bit of mercy makes the world less cold and more just,” he told the cheering crowd from the window of the papal apartments overlooking the square.
He wove his address from the window as well as his earlier homily around the Gospel story of the crowd that wanted to stone a woman who had committed adultery but was saved by Jesus.
Jesus told them, “Let he among you who is without sin, cast the first stone,” and then told the woman, “go and sin no more.”
“I think even we are sometimes like these people, who on the one hand want to listen to Jesus, but on the other hand, sometimes we like to stone others and condemn others. The message of Jesus is this: mercy,” he said at the morning Mass.
In both his address and homily, the pope said people should be open to God’s mercy, even those who have committed grave sins.
“The Lord never tires of forgiving, never! It is we who tire of asking for forgiveness,” he said.