(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis held his weekly General Audience in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday, during the course of which he began a new chapter in his catecheses on mercy, one focusing specifically on Christ’s fulfillment of the promise and action of mercy revealed to humanity through God’s Chosen People, as expressed in the New Testament.
The Holy Father said that the Gospels show us a Jesus who, in every moment of His earthly life, made mercy visible: meeting the crowds, announcing the Gospel, healing the sick, drawing close to the forgotten, pardoning sinners.
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The Pope went on to say that the love Christ showed was a love open to all, a love which was fulfilled on the Cross. “Jesus,” said Pope Francis in an emphatic departure from his prepared remarks, “did not bring hatred, nor did He bring enmity: He brought love – a great love – a heart open to all – to all of us – a love that saves.”
The Holy Father went on to say that no one is excluded from God’s merciful love – and that He proved this once and for all from the Cross. “We are all sinners,” he said in another emphatic departure, “but we are all forgiven: we all have the possibility of receiving this pardon, which is the mercy of God; we need not fear, therefore, to recognize ourselves sinners, confess ourselves sinners, because every sin was carried by the Son to the Cross.”
Pope Francis concluded with an exhortation to frequent the Sacrament of Reconciliation, saying that it offers us the forgiveness that flows from the Cross and which renews us in His grace, and inviting everyone everywhere in this Jubilee Year to embrace the Gospel with greater vigor and be heralds of the Father’s mercy and forgiveness.
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