Several of the brothers attended the first Angelus blessing of Pope Francis this morning. Saint Peter Square, as you can well imagine, was packed. We arrived around 10:30 and the square was already half full.
The Pope commented briefly on today's Gospel, reminding us that God's mercy is infinite. He spoke simply, but forcefully, and he even threw in a bit of spontaneous humor. When he quoted from a book of Cardinal Walter Kasper that he recently read, he added, "Don't think that I'm just trying to give free advertising to my Cardinals!" He also recounted a conversation with an eighty year-old lady in Argentina about sin and forgiveness, which ended with him asking her whether she had by any chance attended the Gregorian University in Rome.
Here is a clip of the end of his appearance (apologies for the poor quality), with an English transcription below:
I chose the patron saint of Italy, Saint Francis of Assisi, for my name. This reinforces my spiritual ties with this country which, as you know, is where my family has its origins. Jesus, however, calls us to belong to a new family - his Church - and to walk together with this family of God in the way of the Gospel. May the Lord bless you and may the Blessed Mother protect you. Never forget: the Lord never tires of forgiving us; it is us who tire of asking for forgiveness.
Have a good Sunday, and a good lunch.