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  • » 06/05/2017, 14.03


    Pope: Doing a work of mercy is sharing, having pity on others and taking risks

    "A work of mercy is not doing something to assuage our consciences, to make us feel better...". And "so many times it means taking a risk. Think of here, in Rome. During the war: those who risked, beginning with Pius XII, to hide the Jews. "

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Doing a work of mercy is not just doing good, but also sharing, complying, ie suffering together. And risk. Pope Francis said during the mass celebrated this morning at Casa Santa Marta.

    Reflecting on the first reading from the book of Tobit, or Tobias, the Pope noted how Tobit was saddened and wept at the murder of a Jewish kinsman, whose body he brought inside to bury after sunset. Pope Francis went on to speak about the 14 corporal and spiritual works of mercy, saying that to do them properly means not just sharing what we possess, but also sharing in the sufferings of others.

    We do not do works of mercy to assuage our consciences, to make us feel better, he said. Rather, the merciful person is the one who has pity on others and shares in their suffering. We must ask ourselves, am I generous? Do I know how to put myself in another person’s shoes? Do I suffer when I see another person in difficulty?

    The Pope continued by noting how the Jews in the bible reading had been deported to Assyria and were not allowed a proper burial. Therefore Tobit risked being killed too – just as we too must take risks as we carry out works of mercy.

    Recalling the Second World War years here in Rome, Pope Francis spoke of all those people, beginning with Pope Pius XII, who risked their own lives to save Jews from deportation and death.

    Those who carry out works of mercy must take risks, but they may also be mocked by others, just as Tobit was mocked by his neighbours. Doing works of mercy also means being willing to be inconvenienced, the Pope went on, just as Our Lord was inconvenienced – all the way to the Cross – to show mercy to us.

    We do works of mercy for others, Pope Francis said, because we know that we have been shown mercy by Our Lord first. We think about our mistakes, our sins, and how the Lord has forgiven us, so we do the same with our brothers and sisters. Works of mercy, the Pope concluded, keep us away from egoistic behavior and help us imitate Jesus more closely.


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    See also

    03/04/2016 11:52:00 VATICAN
    Pope Francis:The Gospel of mercy, an open book to be written with concrete acts of love

    On Divine Mercy Sunday, Francis asks all the faithful to become "living writers of the Gospel" by practicing the spiritual and corporal works of mercy, "the hallmarks of the Christian life”. To be "apostles of mercy" by touching and soothing the wounds "also present today in body and soul of so many brothers and sisters". The Church is "the bearer of peace" of the Risen One, a peace "that does not divide but unites."

    13/03/2016 14:32:00 VATICAN
    Pope Francis: a pocketsize Gospel from grandparents to bring God's mercy in hearts and actions

    Free copies of the Gospel of St Luke were handed out. Memorising works of mercy makes it “easier to fulfil them”. As the adulterous woman stood in front of Jesus, they were like “misery and mercy, facing each other,” like us when we go to the confessional. “God does not nail us to our sins; he does not identify us with the wrongs we have done.” Instead, “He wants to free us” so as to make us into “new creatures”.

    09/11/2016 12:13:00 VATICAN
    Pope: Doing works of mercy, of more benefit to ourselves than others

    At the General Audience Francis speaks of visiting the sick and prisoners. "Illness deepens peoples experience of that loneliness which runs through much of our life." "Whatever a prisoner may have done, he is still loved by God. Who can enter in the depths of their conscience to understand what they are feeling? Who can understand their pain and remorse? It is too easy to wash our hands saying that they have done wrong. "


    19/10/2016 11:47:00 VATICAN
    Pope: "Our relationship with God passes through giving food to the hungry and drink to the thirsty"

    "It is necessary to cultivate a public conscience that preserves food and access to water as universal rights of all human beings, without distinction or discrimination". "One of the consequences of the so-called 'wellbeing' is to lead people to withdraw into themselves, making them insensitive to the needs of others."

    12/10/2016 12:18:00 VATICAN
    Pope: Syria, a ceasefire, at least to evacuate the children

    Works of mercy "the best antidote" in a world "struck by the virus of indifference". If everyone did some every day, there would be a "real revolution". Works of 'spiritual' mercy  also important such as "patiently bearing with annoying people".


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