"It is decisive for the Church and for the credibility of her proclamation that she be a living firsthand witness to mercy. Her language and gestures must convey mercy to penetrate the hearts of people and spur them on to find their way back to the Father ".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Mercy is "the ultimate and supreme act with which God comes to meet us and which opens our hearts to the hope of being loved forever, whatever our poverty, whatever our sin".
The mercy of God, particularly dear to Pope Francis’ magisterium, was again today the subject of a meeting he had with representatives of associations, congregations and movements dedicated to mercy operating in France.
"God's love for us - he said - is not an abstract word. It has become visible and tangible in Jesus Christ. This is why "it is on the same wavelength that the merciful love of Christians must be directed. As the Father loves His children, so we must love. As the Father is merciful, so we are called to be merciful to one another."
Francis then recalled that in the Bull of Indiction of the Jubilee of Mercy, Misericordiae vultus, "I hoped that, from the perspective of the new evangelization which the world needs so much," the theme of mercy "should be" re-proposed with new enthusiasm and with a renewed pastoral action. It is decisive for the Church and for the credibility of her proclamation that she be a living firsthand witness to mercy. Her language and gestures must convey mercy to penetrate the hearts of people and spur them on to find their way back to the Father. I see, and I welcome, the fact that there are many in the Church in France who, with the support and encouragement of their pastors, listen to this appeal”.
He concluded "I wish you may find ways to witness to you this joy of evangelizing by announcing God's mercy, to pass on the passion to others and spread the culture of mercy, which he urgently needs". "That the fulfillment, sometimes very demanding and tiring, of your charitable activities never suffocates the breath of tenderness and compassion from which they must be animated, and the look that expresses it. "There is only one situation - he added, in unscripted remarks at the end – where it is permissible to “look down on another person" and it is to help them to rise up”.