On Saturday, Pope Francis held the first of his “Jubilee audiences” — a general audience that during this Year of Mercy will be held one Saturday a month.
Here is the English-language summary of his address:
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Dear Brothers and Sisters: Today I wish to speak to you about the close relationship between mercy and mission . Saint John Paul II reminded us that the Church lives an authentic life when she professes and proclaims mercy, and leads people to the source of mercy. As Christians, we are called to be missionaries of the Gospel. Just as we naturally seek to share with others the beautiful moments of our lives, we are called also and especially to share the joy of encountering Jesus Christ. This was the experience of the disciples from the very beginning. After meeting the Lord, Andrew went directly to his brother Peter, and Philip sought out Nathanael, to tell them whom they had met. To encounter Jesus is to experience his love, which transforms us and compels us, in turn, to share this love. We are called to be “bearers of Christ”! For the mercy we receive from the Father is not given solely for our benefit, but for the good of all, by transforming us into instruments, missionaries of mercy. By being such missionaries, we come to experience more deeply the gift of mercy in our own lives. May we take seriously our call to be Christians, to live as believers, so that the Gospel may touch the hearts of all people and open them to the gift of God’s love.
I offer an affectionate greeting to all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today’s Audience. May your stay in the Eternal City confirm you in love for our Lord, and may he make you his missionaries of mercy, especially for all those who feel distant from God. May God bless you all!