During the General Audience, Pope Francis reflected on the passage from the Gospel of Luke that inspires the theme of the Jubilee: "Be merciful as your Father is merciful.”
He said this is not a slogan for effect, but a life commitment. Christian perfection is love and does not consist
on doing everything right but knowing how to forgive and give freely. He also stated, "Forgiveness is a manifestation of the gratuitous love of God who never gives up on a child.”
SUMMARY OF THE POPE'S CATECHESIS:
Dear Brothers and Sisters:
In our Gospel passage this morning, we are reminded of our call to be merciful even as our heavenly Father is merciful (cf. Lk 6:36). When we look at salvation history, we see that God’s whole revelation is his untiring love for humanity which culminates in Jesus’ death on the Cross. So great a love can be expressed only by God. Jesus’ call to humanity to be as merciful as the Father, however, is not a question of quantity.
Instead it is a summons to be signs, channels and witnesses to his mercy. This is the Church’s mission, to be God’s sacrament of mercy in every place and time.
As Christians, therefore, God asks us to be his witnesses, first by opening our own hearts to his divine mercy, and then by sharing that mercy towards all people, especially those who suffer. In this way, our works of mercy and charity will offer to the world a glimpse of the face of Christ. In the Gospel, Jesus explains that we especially show the Father’s mercy when we pardon one another, for we express the free gift of God’s love, and help one another on the way of conversion. Jesus invites us also to give freely, for all we have has been freely given to us by God, and we will receive only in the measure that we freely give to others. Merciful love is the only path, for by
it we are able to make known the Father’s mercy that has no end.
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, particularly those from England, Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Japan, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, South Africa, Australia, Canada and the United States of America. May you open your lives to the Lord’s gift of
mercy, and share this gift with all whom you know. As children of our Heavenly Father, may you be missionaries of his merciful love. May God bless you all!