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Pope Francis reflects on mercy, rejects 'blood money' for Church

March 02, 2016

Continuing his Wednesday general audiences on the theme of mercy, Pope Francis devoted his March 2 audience, the ninth in the series, to mercy and correction.

“In these weekly catecheses inspired by the present Holy Year of Divine Mercy, we have often reflected on God’s fatherly love and forgiveness,” Pope Francis told the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square, according to the official English-language synthesis of his remarks. “The prophets present this love also as involving correction, a summons to conversion and the renewal of the Covenant.”

“Every parent knows the challenge of helping children to grow in freedom and responsibility,” the Pope continued. “In the Scriptures, God expresses his dismay at the rejection of his love, as seen in the disobedience and sin of his children.”

Pope Francis added:

If he chastises his people, it is to move them to repentance and conversion. In his mercy, he asks them to turn back to him with all their hearts and to receive a righteousness that is itself his gift.

God is pleased, Isaiah tells us, not by ritual sacrifice but by rejecting evil and practicing justice. Though our sins be like scarlet, he will make them white as snow. May all of us be open, during this year of grace, to our heavenly Father’s merciful invitation to come back to him and to experience this miracle of his love and forgiveness.

The Pope went on to say that the path of true conversion is "not the one of ritual sacrifices but rather of justice." He applied this insight to the wealthy individuals who exploit their workers and then give large sums to the Church—sums that represent the "fruit of the blood" of the poor, he said. "Please, take back your checks and burn them!" the Pope suggested.


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