VATICAN CITY (CNS) — While it may be more difficult to notice today, people are still thirsting for the Gospel message and for signs of God’s love and mercy, Pope Francis said.

“If we are still able to look deeply, we will find a genuine desire for God, who is making restless the hearts of many people who have fallen, despite themselves, into the abyss of indifference, which prevents them from savoring life and serenely constructing their futures,” the pope said Sept. 29, addressing members of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization.


Whatever the challenges, he said, the task of evangelizing is part and parcel of being a Christian.

The 2015-2016 Year of Mercy was a “moment of grace,” the pope said, and “we cannot let such enthusiasm become diluted or forgotten.”

“The people of God strongly felt the gift of mercy and lived the jubilee particularly by rediscovering the sacrament of reconciliation as a privileged place to experience the goodness and tenderness of God and his pardon, which knows no limits,” Pope Francis said.

The Catholic Church and all of its members have a responsibility to continue being an instrument and sign of God’s mercy, he said, so that more people will come to believe in the Gospel and will change their lives in response.