22 February 2018

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02/15/2009 VATICAN

Pope: Confessing our sins restores us to communion with the Father

At the Angelus, Benedict XVI recalls the gospel episode of the leper who is healed, to recall that it is sin, and not physical illness, that separates us from God. In his passion, Jesus "would become like a leper, made unclean by our sins, separated from God: he would do all of this for love, for the purpose of obtaining for us reconciliation, forgiveness, and salvation."

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - If they are not confessed, sins reach the point of producing the death of the soul, and separate us from God, who is ready to purify us and to "restore us to communion." The gospel episode of the leper healed by Jesus was highlighted by Benedict XVI today, for the purpose of once again recommending to the faithful the practice of sacramental confession.

To the 20,000 people present in St. Peter's Square for the recitation of the Angelus, on a clear but cold day, the pope also explained the historical meaning of the words that Jesus spoke to the sick man: "Be made clean."

"According to the ancient Jewish law (cf. Lev. 13-14), leprosy was considered not only an illness, but the most serious form of 'impurity'. It was the responsibility of the priests to diagnose it and declare the sick person unclean. The person then had to be separated from the community and had to stay away from the place where it lived, until his healing could be fully verified. For this reason, leprosy constituted a sort of religious and civil death, and its healing a sort of resurrection. In leprosy, it is possible to glimpse a symbol of sin, which is the true impurity of the heart, and can separate us from God. In effect, it is not the physical illness of leprosy, as stated by the old norms, that separates us from him, but sin, spiritual and moral evil.

"The sins that we commit," he then said, "separate us from God, and if they are not confessed with humility and trust in the divine mercy, they can even reach the point of producing the death of the soul. This miracle therefore takes on a strong symbolic value. Jesus, as Isaiah had prophesied, is the Servant of the Lord who bore our infirmities and endured our sufferings (cf. Is. 53:4). In his passion, he would become like a leper, made unclean by our sins, separated from God: he would do all of this for love, for the purpose of obtaining for us reconciliation, forgiveness, and salvation. In the Sacrament of Penance, Christ crucified and risen, through his ministers, purifies us with his infinite mercy, restores us to communion with the heavenly Father and with our brothers, and gives us his love, his joy, and his peace."

See also

19/04/2009 VATICAN
Pope: UN Durban review conference on racism "important"
The UN conference is being boycotted by the United States, Canada, Australia, Israel, and criticized by the Italian government. Benedict XVI hopes for common, constructive work to put an end to every form of racism with education. A greeting to the Orthodox Churches, which are celebrating Pascha today. Thanks for the wishes he received on the occasion of his birthday (April 16) and for the anniversary of his election as pontiff (today, April 19). The Divine Mercy is the source of unity in the Church, "one family" with "one heart and one soul."

14/03/2010 VATICAN
Pope: we contemplate the Father's heart, in the parable of the prodigal son
Benedict XVI says that the parable that reveals God as the Father of Mercy is the basis of our culture, art and civilization.

08/06/2008 VATICAN
Pope: true religion consists in love of God and of neighbour
Before the recitation of the Angelus, Benedict XVI emphasised the meaning of the citation, made twice by Jesus, of a phrase of the prophet Hosea: "I desire love, and not sacrifice".

14/02/2018 16:07:00 INDIA
For Card Gracias, Lent is a time of fasting and works of mercy

About 500 Catholics took part in Ash Wednesday Mass in the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Mumbai. They heard practical indications for the Lenten period. In lieu of abstinence, people can perform works of charity and exercises of piety. They can also benefit from the sacrament of reconciliation.

21/12/2008 VATICAN
Pope: Christmas, the solstice, and astronomy
Benedict XVI recalls that the feast of the Nativity of Christ is celebrated in conjunction with the winter solstice, and that it has a "cosmic dimension." A greeting to all of those involved in the worldwide year of astronomy, a science respected and practiced by many popes as well.

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