In this Jubilee Year, Pope Francis has taken up the theme of mercy in his General Audiences,
As he started this new cycle of catecheses at this morning’s weekly audience in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall, he stressed that God is waiting for us, ready to forgive our sins.
Reflecting on the reading of the Book of Exodus, the Pontiff noted that, God defines himself as the God of mercy, and underscored that God tells Moses that he is “the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,” (Ex 34:6).
The Hebrew word for mercy, the Holy Father also pointed out, evokes the “tender and visceral love of a mother” for her child.
“The God of mercy is also gracious, ever ready to understand and forgive. He is slow to anger, prepared to wait patiently, like a wise farmer, for the seeds of repentance to grow in our hearts,” he suggested, noting how He abounds in steadfast love and faithfulness.”
“God’s love, freely given, precedes any merit on our part; his faithfulness, like that of the father in the parable of the prodigal son, has no limits,” the Pope said, noting, “He waits for us, ever ready to forgive our sins and to welcome us back to a right relationship with him.”
In this Year of Mercy, the Holy Father exhorted, may we turn to God with all our heart, trusting in his mercy and grace, his infinite faithfulness and love.
The Pontiff also prayed the Church’s celebration of the Jubilee of Mercy will be a moment of grace and spiritual renewal for all. (D.C.L.)