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Mercy and Inclusion

Catechesis by Pope Francis in the Jubilee of Mercy
Jubilee Audience, Saturday 12 November 2016, St Peter's Square - in Arabic, Croatian, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese & Spanish

"Dear brothers and sisters, Good morning!
In this last Saturday Jubilee Audience, I would like to present an important aspect of mercy: inclusion. Indeed, God, in his design of love, does not want to exclude anyone, but wants to include everyone. For example, through Baptism, he makes us his children in Christ, members of his Body which is the Church. And we Christians are invited to use the same criteria: mercy is the way one acts, that style, with which we try to include others in our lives, and avoid closing in on ourselves and our selfish securities.

In the passage from the Gospel of Matthew that we have just heard, Jesus addresses a truly universal invitation: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (11:28). No one is excluded from this call, because Jesus’ mission is to reveal the Father’s love to everyone. Our task is to open our hearts, to trust in Jesus and accept this message of love, which makes us enter into the mystery of salvation.

This aspect of mercy, inclusion, is manifested in opening one’s arms wide to welcome, without excluding; without labeling others according to their social status, language, race, culture or religion: there is, before us, only a person to be loved as God loves them. The person whom I find at my work, in my neighbourhood, is a person to love, as God loves. “But he is from that country, or that other country, or of this religion, or another... He is a person whom God loves and I have to love him”. This is to include, and this is inclusion.

We encounter so many weary and oppressed people today! In the street, in public offices, in medical practices... Jesus’ gaze rests on each one of those faces, even through our eyes. And how is our heart? Is it merciful? And our way of thinking and acting, is it inclusive? The Gospel calls us to recognize, in the history of humanity, the design of a great work of inclusion, which fully respects the freedom of every person, every community, every nation, and calls everyone to form a family of brothers and sisters, in justice, solidarity and peace, and to be part of the Church, which is the Body of Christ.

How true are Jesus’ words, which invite those who are tired and weary to come to Him to find rest! His arms outstretched on the cross show that no one is excluded from his love and his mercy, not even the greatest sinner: no one! We are all included in his love and in his mercy. The most immediate expression with which we feel welcomed and included in him is that of forgiveness. We all need to be forgiven by God. And we all need to encounter brothers and sisters who help us to go to Jesus, to open ourselves to the gift he has given us on the cross. Let us not hinder each other! Let us not exclude anyone! Rather, with humility and simplicity let us become instruments of the Father’s inclusive mercy. The inclusive mercy of the Father: it is like this. The Holy Mother Church prolongs in the world the great embrace of Christ who died and rose. Also this Square, with its colonnade, expresses this embrace. Let us engage in this movement of including others, to be witnesses of the mercy with which God has accepted and welcomed each one of us."


"Je salue cordialement les pèlerins de langue française, en particulier les personnes venues de France et de Suisse. Jésus a ouvert les bras sur la croix pour accueillir tous ceux qui avaient besoin d’être soulagés. Nous aussi ayons le cœur miséricordieux. Ouvrons-le aux personnes que nous rencontrons et qui ont besoin de nous: soyons les instruments de la miséricorde du Père. Que Dieu vous bénisse!

I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, particularly those from Ireland and Pakistan. 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..

Einen herzlichen Gruß richte ich an die Pilger aus den Ländern deutscher Sprache. Nutzt euren Aufenthalt in Rom, um die vielen Zeichen der Barmherzigkeit Gottes, die in dieser Stadt sichtbar sind, zu entdecken. Der Heilige Geist begleite euch auf euren Wegen.

Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española, en particular a los provenientes de España y Latinoamérica. Que el Señor Jesús, que a todos acoge con sus brazos abiertos en la cruz, nos ayude a crecer como hermanos en su amor y a ser instrumentos de la misericordia y ternura del Padre. Muchas gracias.

Queridos peregrinos de língua portuguesa, de coração vos saúdo a todos, desejando-vos que possais experimentar nesta peregrinação jubilar a força do Evangelho da misericórdia que transforma, que faz entrar no coração de Deus, que nos torna capazes de perdoar e olhar o mundo com mais bondade. Que Deus vos abençoe a vós e às vossas famílias.

أُرحّبُ بالحجّاجِ الناطقينَ باللغةِ العربية، وخاصةً بالقادمينَ منالشرق الأوسط. أيها الإخوةُ والأخواتُ الأعزاء، إن يسوع يريد إدماج الجميع ولاسيما المهمشين والذين يصرخون إليه... لنسمح بأن تشمَلَنا حركة الإدماج هذه لنكون شهودًا للرحمة التي قَبِل فيها الله ويقبَل كل واحد منا. ليُبارككُم الرب!

Witam serdecznie obecnych tu Polaków. Jutro, z inicjatywy Stowarzyszenia Pomoc Kościołowi w Potrzebie, będziecie obchodzili w Polsce Dzień Solidarności z Kościołem Prześladowanym. Aktualne, alarmujące i bolesne wydarzenia przynaglają nas, by żarliwą modlitwą i konkretną pomocą wspierać naszych braci żyjących w Iraku i w innych krajach Bliskiego Wschodu. Prośmy Boga, by nikt w świecie nie był wykluczany ze społeczności z motywów religijnych, kulturowych, czy rasowych. Niech wszystkie narody, szanując wolność każdego człowieka, kształtują wspólnotę ludzką, jako wielką rodzinę braci i sióstr żyjących w sprawiedliwości, solidarności i pokoju. Wam wszystkim i waszym Rodakom z serca błogosławię.

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Rivolgo un cordiale benvenuto ai pellegrini di lingua italiana. Sono lieto di accogliere i fedeli del Movimento Shalòm, con il Vescovo di San Miniato; l’unione cattolica degli insegnanti medi della Puglia; la Coldiretti; i dipendenti dell’Anas; la Federazione dei Veterinari e la Confederazione delle libere Professioni, che ricorda il cinquantesimo di fondazione.

Cari fratelli e sorelle, vivete con fede quest’ultima udienza del sabato nel Giubileo per sperimentare nella vostra vita il perdono, la misericordia e l’amore di Dio.

Saluto con particolare affetto voi volontari del Giubileo Straordinario della Misericordia. Siete stati bravi!Voi, che venite da diverse Nazioni, e vi ringrazio per il prezioso servizio prestato perché i pellegrini potessero vivere bene quest’esperienza di fede. Nel corso di questi mesi, ho notato la vostra discreta presenza in piazza con il logo del Giubileo e sono ammirato della dedizione, della pazienza e dell’entusiasmo con cui avete svolto la vostra opera. Grazie tante!|

In particolare, un saluto porgo ai giovani, agli ammalati e agli sposi novelli. Ieri abbiamo ricordato San Martino di Tours, patrono dei mendicanti, di cui quest’anno ricorre il diciassettesimo centenario della nascita. Il suo esempio susciti in voi, cari giovani, specialmente voi studenti Erasmus d’Europa, il desiderio di compiere i gesti di concreta solidarietà; la sua fiducia in Cristo Signore sostenga voi, cari ammalati, nelle prove della malattia; e la sua rettitudine morale ricordi a voi, cari sposi novelli, l’importanza dei valori nell’educazione dei figli."