The pope repeated his request for prayers for this trip, even in greetings in French.
Earlier, Benedict XVI summed up the sense of today’s Gospel, chapter 15 of St. Luke's - in which Jesus tells the three parables of mercy: that of the lost sheep, the lost drachma, and of the father and prodigal son. "The shepherd who finds the lost sheep - he explained - is the Lord himself who takes sinful humanity upon himself and through the cross redeem it”.
"Dear friends - he added - how can we fail to open our hearts to the certainty that, while sinners we are loved by God? He never tires of coming to meet us, he is always the first to travels the path that separates us from Him..."