General audience

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Pope Holds 1st Jubilee Saturday Audience

Speaking on Joy of Meeting the Lord, Stresses His Mercy Isn’t Given to Us for Our ‘Private Consolation,’ But to Make Us ‘Instruments’

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Pope Francis held his first Jubilee Audience on Saturday morning in St. Peter’s Square.

Like the Wednesday general audiences, these Saturday events are open to the general public. They will be held once a month in the context of the Year of Mercy.

In his address, the Holy Father focused on the joy of encountering the Lord and accepting His mercy. Francis stressed how God takes the first step to approach us, not the reverse.

We are to Communicate Our Joy

As Christians, the Pope told those present, we have the responsibility to be missionaries of the Gospel. When we receive good news, he noted that it’s natural to feel the need to share it with others.

«We feel within us that we cannot keep the joy that was given to us: we want to extend it. The joy aroused is such, that it pushes us to communicate it.»

To encounter Jesus, he also noted, is the same as encountering His love.
«This love transforms us and enables us to transmit to others the strength that it gives us. In some way, we can say that from the day of Baptism each one of us was given a new name,» one which makes us «bearers of the joy of Christ, of the mercy of Christ.»
«Every Christian is a “Cristoforo,” that is a bearer of Christ!»
Mercy Isn’t Private Consolation, But Makes Us Instruments
«The mercy we receive from the Father is not given to us as a private consolation, but it makes us instruments, so that others can also receive the same gift.»
The Holy Father noted there is a stupendous circularity between mercy and mission. «To live mercy,» he said, «makes us missionaries of mercy, and to be missionaries enables us to grow ever more in God’s mercy.»
Therefore, the Pope prayed, «let us take seriously our being Christians, and commit ourselves to live as believers.»
Only when we do this, Pope Francis said, can the Gospel «touch the heart of persons» and «open it to receive the grace of love, to receive this great mercy of God who welcomes all.»

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': or

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