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Pope closes extraordinary jubilee year, calls faithful to follow Christ’s kingship of mercy

November 21, 2016

Closing the holy door at St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis concluded the extraordinary jubilee year of mercy with Mass in St. Peter’s Square.

The jubilee year—the first since the great jubilee of the year 2000—began on December 8, 2015, the 50th anniversary of the conclusion of the Second Vatican Council, and concluded on November 20, the Solemnity of Christ the King.

Christ’s “kingship is paradoxical: his throne is the cross; his crown is made of thorns; he has no scepter, but a reed is put into his hand; he does not have luxurious clothing, but is stripped of his tunic; he wears no shiny rings on his fingers, but his hands are pierced with nails; he has no treasure, but is sold for thirty pieces of silver,” Pope Francis preached.

“It would mean very little, however, if we believed Jesus was King of the universe, but did not make him Lord of our lives: all this is empty if we do not personally accept Jesus and if we do not also accept his way of being King,” the Pope continued, as he reflected on the bystanders at the crucifixion, as well as the good thief.

The Pope concluded:

But even if the Holy Door closes, the true door of mercy which is the heart of Christ always remains open wide for us. From the lacerated side of the Risen One until the very end of time flow mercy, consolation and hope.

So many pilgrims have crossed the threshold of the Holy Doors, and far away from the clamor of the daily news they have tasted the great goodness of the Lord. We give thanks for this, as we recall how we have received mercy in order to be merciful, in order that we too may become instruments of mercy.

Let us go forward on this road together. May our Blessed Lady accompany us, she who was also close to the Cross, she who gave birth to us there as the tender Mother of the Church, who desires to gather all under her mantle. Beneath the Cross, she saw the good thief receive pardon, and she took Jesus’ disciple as her son. She is Mother of Mercy, to whom we entrust ourselves: every situation we are in, every prayer we make, when lifted up to his merciful eyes, will find an answer.

 
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