The mercy of our God is infinite and indescribable, Pope Francis underscored during the Chrism Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica this Holy Thursday morning.
Addressing his brother priests, Francis reminded them that Jesus wants to pour out upon our world His mercy “which expands; it proclaims and brings newness; it heals, liberates and proclaims the year of the Lord’s favor.”
The Holy Father called on them to live mercy actively each day, in order to combat “where indifference and violence have predominated.”
“Every one of us, looking at our own lives as God does, can try to remember the ways in which the Lord has been merciful towards us, how he has been much more merciful than we imagined.”
In this, Francis stressed, we can find the courage to ask Him to reveal even more of His mercy in the future.
Let’s Break From Our Set Ways
“It is good for us,” the Holy Father stated, “to break out of our set ways, because it is proper to the Heart of God to overflow with tenderness, with ever more to give.”
He reminded his brother priests how the Lord prefer something be wasted rather than “one drop” of mercy be held back, noting He would rather have many seeds be carried off by the birds than have one seed be missing, since each has the capacity to bear abundant fruit.
Priests, the Pope stressed, are witnesses to and ministers of the ever-increasing abundance of the Father’s mercy and must help to inculturate it, “so that each person can embrace it and experience it personally.”
The Pope went on to say that in encounter and forgiveness the Lord shows His “excess in mercy.”
“Mercy,” the Pope said, “restores everything,” even “dignity to each person.”
“This is why,” the Argentine Pope explained, “effusive gratitude is the proper response: we have to go the party, to put on our best clothes, to cast off the rancor of the elder brother, to rejoice and give thanks…”
“Only in this way, participating fully in such rejoicing, is it possible to think straight, to ask for forgiveness, and see more clearly how to make up for the evil we have committed.”
Let’s Ask Ourselves
The Holy Father then called for each person to take a look at their own lives.
“It would be good for us to ask ourselves: after going to Confession, do I rejoice? Or do I move on immediately to the next thing, as we would after going to the doctor, when we hear that the test results are not so bad and put them back in their envelope?”
“And when I give alms, do I give time to the person who receives them to express their gratitude, do I celebrate the smile and the blessings that the poor offer, or do I continue on in haste with my own affairs after tossing in a coin?”
The Lord, Francis stressed, also enables us “to move directly from the most shameful disgrace to the highest dignity without any intermediary stages.”
“Jesus comes to redeem us, to send us out, to transform us from being poor and blind, imprisoned and oppressed, to become ministers of mercy and consolation.”
In this Jubilee Year, Pope Francis prayed, let us celebrate our Father with hearts full of gratitude for His mercy.
The Holy Father concluded, praying we ask him to cleanse us of all sin and free us from every evil, and with the grace of the Holy Spirit, that we commit ourselves anew to bringing God’s mercy to all men and women.
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