Christians are not licensed “inspectors of other people’s lives,” but rather disciples who reach out to others, assuring them of God’s love and welcoming them into the community, Pope Francis said.
Celebrating an outdoor evening Mass Sept. 21 in Albano, about 20 miles south of Rome, Francis used the anniversary of the dedication of the city’s cathedral to talk about what Catholic churches should be and how parishioners should act toward their neighbors who never come to church. “The Lord remembers us,” the pope said. “He does not forget us, he does not lose sight of us despite the obstacles that can keep us far from him,” as the Gospel story of Zacchaeus demonstrates. Although the tax collector had a “small stature, physically and morally,” Jesus noticed him and decided to go to his house even though everyone in Jericho knew he was a sinner.