Pope Francis receives a cross made by an inmate at the CeReSo n 3 prison in Ciudad Juarez Mexico Feb 17 2016. Photo credit: LOsservatore Romano CNA
Vatican City, Nov 6, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.- On Sunday Pope Francis held a special Mass held for prisoners inside St. Peter’s Basilica, telling them that while paying the price for their crimes is necessary, they must never lose hope for the future or the desire for true freedom.
In his Nov. 6 homily, the Pope pointed to how in his letter to the Romans St. Paul refers to God as “the God of hope.”
By saying this, “Paul almost seems to tell us that God too hopes. While this may seem paradoxical, it is true: God hopes! His mercy gives him no rest,” just like the father waiting for the return of the Prodigal son, or the shepherd looking for his lost sheep.
“So if God hopes, then no one should lose hope. For hope is the strength to keep moving forward,” he said. “It is the power to press on toward the future and a changed life. It is the incentive to look to tomorrow, so that the love we have known, for all our failings, can show us a new path.”
Hope is ultimately proof of the power of God’s mercy, Francis said, adding that mercy “invites us to keep looking ahead and to overcome our attachment to evil and sin through faith and abandonment in him.”