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The Gospel of Mercy

Catechesis by Pope Francis      
in the Jubilee of Mercy
General Audience, Wednesday 6 April 2016, St Peter's Square - in Arabic, Croatian, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese & Spanish

"Dear brothers and sisters, Good morning!
After having reflected on the mercy of God in the Old Testament, today we begin to meditate on how Jesus himself brought it to its full accomplishment. A mercy that He
always expressed, realized and communicated, in every moment of his earthly life. In meeting the crowds, announcing the Gospel, healing the sick, being close to the last, forgiving sinners, Jesus renders visible a love open to all: no one excluded! Open to all without limits. A pure, gratuitous, absolute love. A love that reaches its climax in the Sacrifice of the cross. Yes, the Gospel is truly the “Gospel of Mercy”, because Jesus is Mercy!

All four Gospels attest that Jesus, before taking up his ministry, wanted to receive the baptism of John the Baptist (Mt 3, 13-17; Mk 1, 9-11; Lk 3, 21-22; Jn 1, 29-34). This event imprints a decisive orientation onto the whole of Christ’s mission. Indeed, He did not present himself to the world in the splendour of the temple: He could have done so. He did not announce himself with a fanfare of trumpets: He could have done so. Nor did He come in the garments of a judge: He could have done so. Instead, after thirty years of hidden life in Nazareth, Jesus traveled to the river Jordan, together with many of his people, and stood in line with sinners. He was not ashamed: he was there with everyone, with sinners, so as to be baptized. Thus, from the very beginning of his ministry, He manifested himself as the Messiah who takes charge of the human condition, moved by solidarity and compassion. As He himself affirms in the synagogue of Nazareth by identifying himself with the prophecy of Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has consecrated me with unction, to bring the good news to the poor. He has sent me to announce deliverance to the captives and sight to the blind; to set at liberty the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's grace” (Lk 4, 18-19). All that which Jesus accomplished after baptism was the realization of the initial programme: to bring to all the love of God who saves. Jesus did not bring hatred, he did not bring enmity: he brought us love! A great love, a heart open for all, for us all. A love which saves!

He made himself close to the last, communicating to them God's mercy which is forgiveness, joy and new life. Jesus, the Son sent by the Father, is really the beginning of the time of mercy for all humanity! Those who were present on the bank of the Jordan did not immediately understand the scope of Jesus’ gesture. John the Baptist himself was astonished by his decision (cf Mt 3, 14). But not the Heavenly Father! He made his voice heard from on high: “You are my
beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Mk 1, 11). In this way the Father confirms the way that the Son has taken up as Messiah, while the Holy Spirit descended upon Him as a dove. Thus the heart of Jesus beats, so to speak, in unison with the heart of the Father and of the Spirit, showing to all men that salvation is the fruit of God’s mercy.

We can contemplate even more clearly the great mystery of this love by turning our gaze to Jesus crucified. As He prepares to die innocent for us sinners, He supplicates the Father: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Lk 23, 34). It is on the cross that Jesus presents to the mercy of the Father
the sin of the world: the sin of all, my sins, your sins, everyone’s sins. And there, on the cross, He presents them to the Father. And with the sin of the world all our sins are erased. Nothing and no one remains excluded from this sacrificial prayer of Jesus. This means that we must not be afraid to recognise ourselves and confess ourselves sinners. How many times do we say: “But, this one is a sinner, he has done that and that...”, and we judge others. And you? Each of us should ask ourselves: “Yes, that one is a sinner. And me?” We are all sinners, but we are all forgiven: we all have the possibility of receiving this forgiveness which is the mercy of God. We must not be afraid, therefore, to recognise ourselves sinners, to confess ourselves sinners, as every sin has been borne by the Son on the Cross. And when we confess it, repenting, entrusting ourselves to Him, we are certain of being forgiven. The Sacrament of Reconciliation renders actual for each one of us the strength of forgiveness that flows from the Cross and renews in our life the grace of the mercy that Jesus has acquired for us! We must not be afraid of our miseries: each of us has our own. The power of the love of the Crucified One does not know obstacles and never runs out. And this mercy erases our miseries.

Dearest brothers and sisters, in this Jubilee Year let us ask God for the grace to experience the power of the Gospel: Gospel of mercy which transforms, which lets us enter the heart of God, which renders us capable of forgiving and looking at the world with more goodness. If we welcome the Gospel of the Crucified Risen One, our whole life is shaped by the strength of his love which renews."


"Je salue cordialement les pèlerins venus de Belgique, du Canada, du Togo et de France, en particulier le diocèse de Saint-Brieuc avec Monseigneur Denis Moutel, le diocèse d’Aix-en-Provence avec Monseigneur Christophe Dufour, et les nombreux jeunes présents ce matin.
En cette Année jubilaire, demandons à Dieu la grâce de faire l’expérience de la puissance de l’Évangile : Évangile de la miséricorde qui nous transforme, nous rend capables de pardonner, et nous fait entrer dans le cœur de Dieu. Que Dieu vous bénisse !

I offer an affectionate greeting to all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today’s Audience, including those from England, Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Australia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and the United States. As we celebrate the Easter season, may our hearts be open to the Risen Lord so that, strengthened by his grace, we may share with our families and communities the Gospel of Mercy. God bless you all!

Sehr herzlich grüße ich die Pilger deutscher Sprache, vor allem die vielen Jugendlichen und Schüler, insbesondere die Gruppe der Liebfrauenschule Dießen. Bitten wir den gekreuzigten und auferstanden Christus, dass er uns immer mehr in sein Evangelium der Barmherzigkeit eintreten lässt. Die Kraft seiner Liebe gestalte unser Leben und mache uns fähig, seine Vergebung weiterzuschenken. Das Licht von Ostern erfülle euch mit Hoffnung und Zuversicht auf eurem Weg.

Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española, en particular a los grupos provenientes de España y Latinoamérica. Acerquémonos al sacramento de la reconciliación que actualiza la fuerza del perdón que nace de la cruz y renueva en nosotros la gracia de la misericordia divina, haciéndonos capaces de amar y perdonar como el Señor nos amó y nos perdonó.

Queridos peregrinos de língua portuguesa, de coração vos saúdo a todos, nomeadamente ao grupo de São Sebastião do Pontal, desejando-vos neste Ano Jubilar a graça de experimentar 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. Assim Deus vos abençoe a vós e às vossas famílias.

أُرحّبُ بالحجّاجِ الناطقينَ باللّغةِ العربيّة، وخاصّةً بالقادمينَ منالشرق الأوسط. أيّها الإخوةُ والأخواتُ الأعزّاء، في يسوع لا يمكننا أن نلمس رحمة الله لمس اليد وحسب بل نُدفع لنصير نحن أيضا أدوات لرحمته. ليُبارككُم الربّ!

Witam serdecznie Polaków, a szczególnie redakcję, czytelników i przyjaciół Katolickiego Tygodnika „Niedziela”, którzy przybywają do Rzymu z okazji 90-tej rocznicy założenia pisma. Także dzisiaj jest ono wielkim darem Bożej Opatrzności dla waszego Narodu, który w tym czasopiśmie od lat znajduje rzetelny przekaz informacji o Kościele i oparcie w trudnych momentach waszej historii. Życzę, aby ewangelizacyjna posługa tego Tygodnika nadal umacniała jego czytelników w wierze, przynosząc obfite owoce w ich życiu i apostolstwie. W Roku Nadzwyczajnego Jubileuszu Miłosierdzia zawierzam Jezusowi Miłosiernemu i Jego Najświętszej Matce, Królowej Polski, dalsze lata działalności „Niedzieli”. Redakcji i wam wszystkim tu obecnym z serca błogosławię.

S láskou pozdravujem slovenských pútnikov, osobitne viaceré farské skupiny ako aj žiakov zo Starej Ľubovne. Drahí bratia a sestry, vaša návšteva Ríma počas Veľkonočného obdobia nech je pre každého z vás príležitosťou na pravú duchovnú obnovu. Oslávený Pán nech vás sprevádza svojim pokojom a radosťou. Rád žehnám všetkých vás i vaše rodiny.

Un cordiale benvenuto rivolgo ai pellegrini provenienti dai Paesi Bassi e dal Belgio. Saluto in particolare i fedeli della Diocesi di Anversa, accompagnati dal loro Vescovo Mons. Johan Bonny. Il vostro pellegrinaggio a Roma, in occasione dell’Anno Santo della Misericordia, e l’incontro con il Successore di Pietro vi confermino nella fede e nell’impegno per i fratelli che sono nel bisogno. Cristo Risorto vi renda strumenti della sua misericordia e vi doni la sua pace.


"Oggi ricorre la Terza Giornata Mondiale dello Sport per la Pace e lo Sviluppo, indetta dalle Nazioni Unite. Lo sport è un linguaggio universale, che avvicina i popoli e può contribuire a far incontrare le persone e superare i conflitti. Perciò incoraggio a vivere la dimensione sportiva come palestra di virtù nella crescita integrale degli individui e delle comunità.

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Porgo un cordiale benvenuto ai pellegrini di lingua italiana. Sono lieto di accogliere i fedeli delle Diocesi di Castellaneta e di Fidenza, accompagnati dai loro Pastori Mons. Maniago e Mons. Mazza; e i partecipanti alla marcia della pace alimentare, con il Vescovo di Gubbio Mons. Ceccobelli. Saluto la Comunità del Pontificio Collegio San Giovanni Damasceno, che ricorda i 75 anni di fondazione;  gli studenti e i familiari delle Scuole della Congregazione delle Adoratrici del Sangue di Cristo; i medici della Società Europea di Ortopedia Pediatrica come pure i fedeli di Recco, Alatri, Vietri di Potenza e gli studenti di Messina. In questo Giubileo Straordinario invito a riscoprire l’esigenza delle opere di misericordia corporali e spirituali come un’opportunità per alimentare la nostra fede.

Un particolare pensiero porgo ai giovani, agli ammalati e agli sposi novelli. Guardate al modello della Vergine Maria per vivere questo Tempo Pasquale in ascolto della Parola di Dio e con la pratica della carità, vivendo con gioia l’appartenenza alla Chiesa, la famiglia dei discepoli missionari del Cristo Risorto."