(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis warned against a “false freedom” which has created “many new forms of slavery” during his Jubilee Audience in St. Peter’s Square on Saturday.
Listen to the report by Charles Collins:
The Holy Father’s catechesis focused on the word ‘redemption,’ which he said is “little used, but it is important because it points to the most radical liberation God is able to perform for us, for all humanity, and for the entirety of creation.”
“It appears that the people of today no longer love to think of being liberated and saved by the intervention of God; in fact, people today are under the illusion that their liberty is a force with which to obtain all things. They even boast of this,” – Pope Francis said – “But in reality, it is not like this. How many illusions are being sold under the pretext of freedom, and how many new forms of slavery are being created in our time in the name of a false freedom!”
“There are so many slaves: ‘I do this because I want to do it, I take drugs because I like it, I'm free, I will do something else.’ They are slaves!” – the Holy Father continued – “They become slaves in the name of freedom. We have all seen such people eventually end up in the ground. We need God to deliver us from all forms of indifference, selfishness and self-sufficiency.”
Pope Francis said we have been called instead to a new state of life.
“By becoming one of us, the Lord Jesus not only takes on our human condition, but he also raises us up to the possibility of being children of God,” – the Pope said – “By His death and resurrection, the unblemished lamb Jesus Christ has conquered death and sin to free us from their domination. He is the Lamb who was sacrificed for us, so we might receive a new life of forgiveness, love and joy. How beautiful are these three words: forgiveness, love and joy!”
“All that He has assumed has also been redeemed, liberated and saved,” Pope Francis said.
“Certainly, it is true that life puts us to the test, and sometimes we suffer for it,” – he continued – “Nevertheless, in these moments we are invited to turn our gaze to the crucified Jesus, who suffers for us and with us, as certain proof that God does not abandon us. Never forget, however, that in anguish or persecution - as in everyday suffering - we are always freed by the merciful hand of God, who raises us to himself and leads us to new life.”
The Pope said the love of God has no limits, and we are able to discover “ever-new signs” of God’s attention to us.
“Our whole life, though marked by the fragility of sin, is placed under the gaze of God who loves us,” Pope Francis said.
“How many pages of Holy Scripture tell us about the presence, closeness, and tenderness of God for all people, especially for children, the poor and the afflicted!” – the Holy Father said – “God has a great tenderness - a great love - for children, for the weak, for those discarded by society. The more we are in need, the more his gaze on us is filled with mercy. He shows a merciful compassion towards us because he knows our weaknesses. He knows our sins and forgive us; He always forgives!”
Pope Francis concluded his catechesis by asking the pilgrims to “let us open ourselves to Him, so we receive his Grace: Because, as he Psalm says, ‘with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is the fullness of redemption.”
Over 30,000 pilgrims attended the special Saturday Audience, which takes place once a month during the Jubilee of Mercy.