A Catholic Monthly Magazine


Pope Speaks May 16 Mercy and Commitment

The Jubilee of Mercy is an opportunity to enter in depth into the mystery of God’s goodness and love. The Church invites us to get to know better the Lord Jesus, and to live faith in a way coherent with a lifestyle that expresses the Father’s mercy. My life, my attitude, my way of going about the world must be a concrete sign of the fact that God is close to us. Little gestures of love, of tenderness, of attention, that let us think that the Lord is with us, close to us. In this way we open the door of mercy.

Every day we are asked to commit ourselves to the things we do: in prayer, in work, in study, even in sport. … In short, committing oneself means acting with good will and effort to improve life.

God too has committed Himself to us. His first commitment was that of creating the world, and despite our attempts to spoil it, He is committed to keeping it alive. But His greatest commitment was that of giving Jesus to us. … St. Paul recalls this when he writes that God ‘did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all.’ And, by virtue of this, together with Jesus the Father will give us everything we need.

In Jesus, God commits Himself fully in order to restore hope to the poor, to those who are deprived of their dignity, to outsiders, the sick, the imprisoned, and to sinners who welcome Him with good will. In all of this, Jesus was the living expression of the Father’s mercy.

If we think of it in a human way, the sinner would be an enemy of Jesus, an enemy of God, but He drew close to them with goodness, He loved them and He changed their heart. We are all sinners, all of us. We all have some blame before God. But we must not be distrustful: He draws close to us to offer us consolation, mercy and forgiveness. This is God’s commitment, and this is why He sent Jesus to us, to be close to us, to all of us, and to open the door of His love, His heart and His mercy.

Taking as a starting point the merciful love with which Jesus expressed God’s commitment, we too can and must match His love with our effort, especially in the situations of greatest need, when there is the greatest thirst for hope. I think of our efforts with abandoned people, with those who have very serious disabilities, with the gravely ill, with the dying, and with those who are no longer able to express their gratitude. … We bring God’s mercy to all these situations through commitment in life, which bears witness to our faith in Jesus. We must always bring with us this caress from God – because God has caressed us with His mercy – to those who are in need of it, to those who have suffering in their heart or who are sad. We must approach them with that caress from God, which is the same one God gave to us.Pope Speaks 2 May 16

Source: VIS, 20 February 2016

Hearts open to God’s mercy

God does not treat us according to our sins (cf. Psalm 103:10). Punishment becomes the instrument to make us reflect. Thus we see that God forgives his people, he is gracious and does not destroy everything, but always leaves the door open to hope. Salvation involves the decision to listen and be converted, but it remains a free gift.

The Lord, in his mercy, then indicates a road not of ritual sacrifices but of justice. Worship is criticized not as being unnecessary in itself but because, rather than expressing conversion, it claims to replace it, and so it becomes a search for one’s own righteousness, creating the misleading belief that sacrifices save and not the divine mercy that pardons sin.

To enable us to understand: when someone is sick, he goes to the doctor; when someone feels he is a sinner, he goes to the Lord. But if, instead of going to the doctor, he goes to a sorcerer, he doesn’t get better. So often we do not go to the Lord; instead, we prefer to go down wrong paths, looking for righteousness, justice, peace outside of him.

God, the prophet Isaiah says, does not delight in the blood of bulls and lambs (Isaiah 1:11), especially if the offering is made with hands stained by the blood of brothers (1:15). I think of some of the benefactors of the Church who come with the offer: ‘Take this offering for the Church.’ It is the fruit of the blood of so many people who have been exploited, abused, and enslaved with poorly paid work. And I will say to these people: ‘Please, take back your cheque and burn it.’ The people of God, the Church, doesn’t need blood money; it needs hearts that are open to God’s mercy. We have to approach God with hands that have been washed, by avoiding evil and practicing good and justice.

Source: Aleteia, 2 March 2016

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