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 CNS Story:

FRANCIS-LOVE Apr-10-2013 (350 words) xxxi

God's love is source of salvation, dignity, hope, pope says at Mass

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- God's love is the source of salvation, true dignity and hope, Pope Francis said in a brief homily at his morning Mass.

"It's beautiful to believe in love. This is the truth, the truth of our lives," he said at Mass April 10 in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the Vatican guesthouse where he has been living since his election in March.

At the Mass with workers from St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Francis ended his homily by suggesting, "Let's say this prayer: 'Lord, I believe in your love. And we open our hearts so that this love comes to us, fills us and pushes us to love others."

The day's Gospel reading began with John 3:16: "God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life."

Commenting on the passage, the pope said, "The Lord saves us with his love" and "not with a decree."

Being saved by God through Jesus, he said, means regaining "the dignity we lost" through the sin of Adam and Eve, the dignity of being sons and daughters of God.

With the help of grace, the pope said, the dignity of being children of God can grow each day until each person is ready for "the definitive encounter" with God in heaven.

The problem, he said, is that people are tempted to think they can make it alone. They tell themselves, "I have money" or a position that gives them dignity. They think their vanity, pride or power can save them.

True dignity and salvation come from the love of God, which was so great that he sent his son to live on earth, to die and to rise again, the pope said.

"Let us make an act of faith today: 'Lord, I believe. I believe in your love. I believe your love has saved me. I believe that your love has given me that dignity that I did not have. I believe that your love gives me hope," Pope Francis said.

END


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