Vatican City, 4 November 2013 (VIS) At midday on Sunday the Holy Father appeared at the window of his study in the Vatican Apostolic Palace to pray the Angelus with the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square. Francis dedicated his Sunday meditation to the Gospel of St. Luke, who narrates the conversion of Zacchaeus. “There is no profession or social condition, no sin or crime of any type that may cancel from the memory or the heart of God even one of His children. 'God remembers', always, he does not forget anyone He has created; He is the Father, always vigilantly and lovingly awaiting the rebirth of the desire to return home in the heart of His son. And when He recognises this desire, even if it is simply hinted at, and often almost subconsciously, He immediately rushes to His son's side, and with his forgiveness he lightens the task of the conversion and return to the fold”.
“If you have a burden on your conscience”, he continued, “if you are ashamed of many things you have done, stop a moment; do not be afraid. Think that someone is waiting for you, because He has never forgotten you; and that someone is your Father, God who awaits you! Climb, like Zacchaeus did; climb the tree of the wish to be forgiven, and I assure you, you will not be disappointed. Jesus is merciful and never tires of forgiving. Remember this well; thus is Jesus. … In the depths of our hearts, let us listen to His voice that says to us: 'Today I must call at your house', that is, your heart, your life. And let us welcome Him with joy: He is able to change us, he is able to transform our hearts of stone into hearts of flesh, he is able to free us from selfishness and make our lives into a gift of love”.