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Pope at Audience

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JUBILEE AUDIENCE: On Mercy & Dialogue

‘Dialogue pulls down the walls of divisions and misunderstandings; it creates bridges of communication, and does not allow for any one to be isolated, shut-in in his own small world.’

Below is a ZENIT working translation of Pope Francis’ address during his Jubilee Audience that was held Saturday morning in Saint Peter’s Square, a meeting that Francis decided to hold for pilgrims and faithful coming to Rome for the Jubilee of Mercy.

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Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!

The passage of John’s Gospel that we heard, narrates Jesus’ meeting with a Samaritan woman. What is striking of this meeting is the very logical dialogue between the woman and Jesus. This enables us to stress today a very important aspect of mercy, which in fact is dialogue. 

Dialogue enables individuals to know each other and to understand the needs of one another. This is, first of all, a sign of great respect, because it puts individuals in an attitude of listening and in the condition of receiving the best aspects of the interlocutor. In the second place, dialogue is an expression of charity because, although not ignoring the differences, it can help to seek and to share the common good. Moreover, dialogue invites us to place ourselves before the other, seeing him as a gift of God, who challenges us and who asks to be recognized.

Often we do not meet brothers, even though we live beside them, especially when we make our position prevail over the others. We do not dialogue when we do not listen sufficiently or tend to interrupt the other to prove that we are right. True dialogue, instead, needs moments of silence, in which to receive the extraordinary gift of God’s presence in a brother.

Dear brothers and sisters, dialogue helps individuals to humanize relations and to surmount misunderstandings. There is so much need of dialogue in our families, and how issues would be resolved more easily if we learned to listen to one another! It is thus in the relationship between husband and wife, and between parents and children. How much help can come as well from dialogue between teachers and their students, or between directors and workers, to discover the best needs of work.

The Church also lives of dialogue with the men and women of all times, to understand the needs that are at the heart of every person, and to contribute to the realization of the common good. We think of the great gift of Creation and of the responsibility we all have to safeguard our common home: dialogue on such a key topic is an inescapable exigency. We think of dialogue between religions, to discover the profound truth of their mission in the midst of men, and to contribute to the making of peace and to a network of respect and fraternity (cf. Encyclical Laudato Si’, 201).

To conclude, all forms of dialogue are expressions of the great need of the love of God, who goes to encounter all and puts a seed of His goodness in each one, so that one can collaborate in His creative work. Dialogue pulls down the walls of divisions and misunderstandings; it creates bridges of communication, and does not allow for any one to be isolated, shut-in in his own small world.

Jesus knew well what was in the heart of the Samaritan woman; despite this, He did not impede her from to expressing herself and, in turn, entering a bit in the mystery of His life. This teaching is also valid for us. Through dialogue we can make the signs of God’s mercy grow and render them instruments of hospitality and respect.

[Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]

In Italian

A warm welcome goes to the Italian-speaking faithful. I am happy to receive the faithful of numerous Italian dioceses, with their respective Pastors, especially those of Umbria.

Dear brothers and sisters, may your Jubilee pilgrimage be lived in the faith as experience of God’s forgiveness and mercy and accompany you on your return to the communities to which you belong to witness His love for brothers, particularly the excluded and the estranged.

I greet the Association of Catholic Doctors, with Cardinal Edoardo Menichelli; the NCO’s Association of Italy; the participants in the Jubilee of <Choirs> and the liturgical animators; the numerous flag bearers and the large group of campers, whom I thank for the gift of a camper to a Roman family with disabilities. On the eve of World Missionary Day, I exhort all to accompany with prayer and concrete help the evangelizing action of the Church in mission territories.

A special thought goes to young people, the sick and newlyweds. Observed today is the liturgical memorial of Saint John Paul II. May his coherent witness of faith be a teaching for you, dear young people, to face the challenges of life; in the light of his teaching, dear sick, embrace the cross of sickness with hope; invoke his heavenly intercession, dear newlyweds, so that love is never lacking in your new family.

[Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]

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