Home Diocese Nothing can Keep God from Seeking Those Who Stray, Pope says

Nothing can Keep God from Seeking Those Who Stray, Pope says

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Pope Francis greets the crowd during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican May 4. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis greets the crowd during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican May 4. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Pope Francis greets the crowd during his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican May 4. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – There is no such thing as a soul that is lost forever, only people who are waiting to be found, Pope Francis said. God is not part of humanity’s “throwaway culture” and does not shut out the sinner and those most in need, the pope said May 4 during his weekly general audience. Because of his immense love for everyone, God takes the illogical step of leaving his faithful flock behind in the harsh desert to seek out the one who has gone missing, he told those gathered in St. Peter’s Square. The pope reflected on the Gospel parable of the good shepherd, which, he said, reflects Jesus’ concern for sinners and God’s commitment to never give up on anyone. Jesus uses the parable to explain how “his closeness to sinners must not scandalize, but, on the contrary, encourage everyone to seriously reflect on how we live our faith,” the pope said. The parable, he said, responds to the doctors of the law and the Pharisees, who “were proud, arrogant, believed themselves just,” and, therefore, became suspicious or shocked seeing Jesus welcome and eat with sinners.