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Pope Francis explains the origin of the Jubilee in the Bible

2016-02-10

(ONLY VIDEO) During the general audience, the Pope explained the origin of the Jubilee that the  people of Israel celebrate every 50 years since antiquity.

It was a time when the "debts were annulled, the lands were returned.” This was a form of fighting off poverty and inequality. Pope Francis said that today's world has much to learn from these customs.

SUMMARY OF THE CATECHISM OF THE POPE IN ENGLISH

Dear Brothers and Sisters: 

We learn from Scripture that the Jubilee Year is an ancient institution: a heightened moment of religious and social life for the people of Israel, who are instructed by God in the Book of Leviticus, for the jubilee year, to cancel debts and release slaves.  A jubilee is a year of "general pardon”, for all people to return to their original state: the freedom proper to the holy people of God.  

We should practice this pardon to combat poverty and inequality, by promoting an equitable distribution of the earth’s goods for all.  The earth belongs to God, and has been entrusted to us, who are but "strangers and sojourners” on the road to eternity.  

As stewards of the Lord, we are called to render habitable and human the world we have received.  In this jubilee year, we are also challenged by the ancient prescription of tithing, offering God the first fruits of our work.  This wisdom calls us to be generous with those in need, to help eliminate poverty, and contribute to a society based on solidarity, fraternity and justice. 

I warmly greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, in particular those from England, Ireland, Croatia, Taiwan and the United States of America.  I wish you a good Lenten journey, filled with acts of mercy, especially in this Jubilee Year. May God bless you all!


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