Catholic World News

Pope reflects on mercy and consolation

March 16, 2016

Resuming his Wednesday general audiences following last week’s spiritual retreat with the Curia, Pope Francis devoted his March 16 audience, the tenth devoted to mercy, to the theme of “mercy and consolation.”

“As part of our continuing catechesis during this Holy Year devoted to God’s mercy, we now turn to the message of consolation found in the book of the prophet Jeremiah,” Pope Francis told the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square, according to the official English-language synthesis of his remarks.

“The jarring experience of the Exile had shaken the faith of the Chosen People, yet the prophet proclaims that God, far from abandoning his people, reaffirms his faithful love and his promise of salvation,” Pope Francis continued.

He added:

Jeremiah’s words of consolation and hope have a particular resonance today in the light of so many tragic situations of exile throughout our world. They also tell us of God’s gracious offer of forgiveness, restoration and the possibility of a new beginning.

The prophet’s imagery of the desolate land turning into a garden, and the joyful throngs ascending Mount Zion, speak of God’s power to bring life out of death and blessing out of evil. Jeremiah’s prophecy finds supreme fulfillment in the coming of Jesus, whose paschal mystery proclaims the triumph of God’s merciful love and his promise of reconciliation, renewal and life eternal.

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