Practice works of mercy, not only for one’s conscience, but to participate in others’ suffering, also risking one’s life if necessary – as Pius XII did in hiding Jews, to avoid their being deported or killed – because it was a work of mercy to save those people’s lives, said Pope Francis during his homily at his daily morning Mass at his residence Casa Santa Marta.
The Holy Father began from today’s readings, when the Jews were deported to Assyria. Tobit helped secretly to bury the Jews killed with impunity. Thus to carry out the 14 works of corporal and spiritual mercy means not only to share what one has but also to suffer with those that suffer.
Not to say “I get rid of a weight” but to share others’ problems. The Pope invited to ask oneself: “Am I able to share? Am I generous? “Am I able to wear the cloth of one that suffers?”
“Often risks are run. Let us think here of Rome during the War, how many put themselves in danger, beginning with Pius XII, to hide Jews so that they wouldn’t be killed, so that they wouldn’t be deported! They risked their own skin, but it was a work of mercy to save the life of all those people!” he said, adding the word “risk.”
“It’s uncomfortable to do works of mercy,” he continued. ‘I have a sick friend; I would like to go and visit her, but I don’t feel like it . . . I prefer to rest and watch television.’”
To engage in works of mercy means always to suffer discomforts. They are uncomfortable. But the Lord suffered discomfort for us: He ended on the cross to give us mercy,” said the Pontiff.
“Whoever is capable of carrying out a work of mercy knows that he himself has ‘been given mercy.’ [misericordiado]. And we must do the same with our brothers,” he concluded.