Mercy, Pope Francis says, “is what pleases God most,” which is why it must be lived out in our lives and be visible in the Church.
The Holy Father stressed this during his General Audience this morning in St. Peter’s Square, noting, “This Jubilee is a privileged moment because the Church learns to choose that which God likes the most,” namely mercy.
Francis began today’s address recalling that yesterday, the Jubilee Year of Mercy was inaugurated with the opening of the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica, and stressing that this year invites the Church to be a convincing witness to Christ’s mercy.
This merciful witness, Pope Francis stressed, is needed to “triumph over sin” and bring “true freedom.” At the very heart of the Gospel, Francis reflected, is God’s mercy, which is made present in our midst, through His Son’s incarnation.
“The joy of God,” the Holy Father noted, “is in pardoning.” The call for mercy, Francis stressed, is more urgent than ever before, especially in society, institutions, the workplace, and in the family.
“In today’s world,” The Holy Father lamented, “mercy and forgiveness often appear overwhelmed by self interest, hedonism, and venality,” while in the Christian life “they can be stifled by hypocrisy and worldliness”
The reason why this Holy Year is so important, he pointed out, is that forgetting God’s mercy “blinds us from seeing what the sin really is.”
“The Church needs this extraordinary moment,” the Pope reflected, underscoring that contemplating Divine Mercy can make us become more effective Christian witnesses.
Moreover, the Pope, off the cuff, gave those gathered some advice. Stressing we must admit we are sinners, he urged those gathered to say, ‘Lord, I am a sinner, come with your mercy.’
“It is a prayer to repeat every day,” he said.
Pope Francis concluded, praying that the Lord makes us ever more aware of His mercy at work in our lives and ever more effective in testifying to its transforming power in the world. During his address to English speakers, the Pontiff gave a special greeting to the international team of the space program ‘Galileo,’ and during his address to Italians, he recalled that yesterday was the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and prayed that Mary intercedes for a Holy Year rich with many fruits.