On Saturday, Pope Francis held the seventh 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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Speaker: Dear Brothers and Sisters: Appearing to the disciples in Emmaus, the Risen Jesus tells them that repentance and the forgiveness of sins are to be preached to all nations in His name (Lk 24:47). Repentance and the forgiveness of sins are at the heart of the Gospel message of God’s merciful love. The Old Testament prophets repeatedly call the people to “return to the Lord” in fidelity to His covenant of love. Jesus began His public ministry by preaching repentance, interior conversion and belief in the Gospel (cf. Mk 1:15). His call to conversion was expressed not in judgment but in closeness to sinners and mercy to those in need. As we see in the conversion accounts of Matthew and Zacchaeus, Jesus enabled sinners to feel God’s loving mercy and to open their hearts to His gift of forgiveness. As an experience of unmerited love, true conversion always entails openness to others, especially the poor. In this Holy Year of Mercy, may we recognize our own need of forgiveness and conversion, and open our hearts ever more fully to the power of the Lord’s grace to transform and renew our lives.
Speaker: I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, particularly those from England, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Singapore and the United States of America. With prayerful good wishes that the present Jubilee of Mercy will be a moment of grace and spiritual renewal for you and your families, I invoke upon all of you joy and peace in our Lord Jesus Christ.