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Pope Francis reflects on Christ as mercy incarnate

April 06, 2016

Continuing his series of Wednesday catecheses on mercy, Pope Francis devoted his April 6 general audience to “God’s mercy fulfilled in Jesus, who is mercy incarnate.”

“In every moment of his earthly life, Jesus made mercy visible: meeting the crowds, announcing the Gospel, healing the sick, drawing close to the forgotten, pardoning sinners,” Pope Francis told the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square, according to the official English-language synthesis of his remarks. “He showed a love open to all, a love which was fulfilled on the cross.”

“His mission of mercy began in humble surroundings at the Jordan, where he stood in line with sinners to be baptized by John,” the Pope continued. “The Father confirmed this mission at Jesus’ Baptism when he sent the Holy Spirit upon him and said: ‘You are my beloved son; with you I am well pleased’ (Mk 1:11).”

The Pope added:

We can contemplate this mystery by gazing upon the cross, for there Jesus offered to the Father the sin of the world, our sins. From the cross, Jesus shows us that no one is excluded from God’s merciful love: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Lk 23:34).

We should, therefore, never fear to acknowledge and confess our sins, for the Sacrament of Reconciliation offers us the forgiveness which flows from the cross and which renews us in his grace. In this Jubilee Year, let us embrace the Gospel with greater vigor and be heralds of the Father’s mercy and forgiveness.

 
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