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Pope says God is not afraid of tenderness
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — God is not afraid of tenderness and will reach out to console all in need, Pope Francis said during his early morning Mass.

"In the eyes of the Lord each one of us is very, very important. And he gives with tenderness," Vatican Radio quoted the pope as saying in his homily during the Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae where he lives.

When Christians lose hope, their lives become "senseless" and they have essentially "hit a wall," the pope said, but the Lord approaches his followers with tenderness and consolation.

"He becomes tender, becomes a child, becomes small," Pope Francis said. He approaches his people with consolation, and "draws them forward with hope."

The Lord "in his nearness gives us hope," he continued, and that hope is a "true strength in Christian life," the grace of God.

"He does it with a special closeness to each one," he said. "Because the Lord comforts his people and comforts each one of us."

Jesus himself embodied tenderness, the pope said, and that can be seen in the way he comforted his disciples, was close to them and gave them consolation.

"We think of the tenderness he had with the apostles, with Mary Magdalene, with those of Emmaus," he added.

People must not be afraid of receiving the consolation of the Lord, Pope Francis said. All people should "be open" to God's tenderness, and they should actively ask and seek the consolation of the Lord, "because it is a consolation that will give us hope, and make us feel the tenderness of God the father."

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