(Vatican Radio) On Thursday, Pope Francis held a Special Jubilee Audience, using the text of Matthew 25:35-36 as a launching point. He said that mercy is not an abstraction or a lifestyle but concrete and practical.
The English language summary of the Holy Father's catechesis follows:
(Thursday, 30 June 2016)
Works of Mercy (Mt 25,31-46)
Dear Brothers and Sisters: During this Holy Year of Mercy, we have not only considered the gift of God’s mercy in itself, but also the works of mercy which we are called to practice as part of the Christian life. To paraphrase Saint James, we can say that mercy without works is dead. To be merciful like God our Father demands constant sensitivity to the needs, material and spiritual, of those around us. Jesus himself tells us in no uncertain terms that we will be judged by the mercy we show to the poor: those who hunger and thirst, the naked, the stranger, the sick and those in prison (cf. Mt 25:35-36). Particularly in our prosperous societies, Christians are called to guard against the temptation of indifference to the plea of so many of our brothers and sisters. In our rapidly changing and increasingly globalized world, many new forms of poverty are appearing. In response to them, may we prove creative in developing new and practical forms of charitable outreach as an expression of the way of mercy.
This past weekend I made a Pastoral Visit to Armenia, the first nation to embrace the Christian faith and a people which has remained faithful even in the midst of great trials. I also plan to go to Georgia and Azerbaijan in the near future, to affirm the ancient Christian roots of those countries and to support every effort to encourage peace and reconciliation in a spirit of respect for all. With gratitude for the welcome and fellowship showed me by the Armenian Apostolic Church, I ask the Virgin Mary to strengthen Christians everywhere to remain firm in the faith and to work for a society of ever greater justice and peace.
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