Entering the heart of the Holy Year of Mercy

March 6, 2016-Reading time: 3 minutes

The month of January was drawing to a close when the Pope began his Saturday Jubilee Audience with this observation: "We enter day by day into the heart of the Holy Year of Mercy.". The day before, addressing the participants in the plenary session of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he once again recalled the purpose of this Year: "I hope that in this Jubilee all members of the Church will renew their faith in Jesus Christ who is the face of the Father's mercy, the way that unites God and man.".

In the last month, we have witnessed the closing of the Year of Consecrated LifeThe Pope's speeches were also a response to the beginning of the liturgical season of Lent and to the Holy Father's apostolic trip to Mexico. The Pope's interventions revolved around these events, having as a common thread the reiterated invitation to experience divine mercy in order to be witnesses of it in the world.

During the Jubilee of Consecrated Life, Francis proposed to strengthen three pillars on which the life of men and women consecrated to the service of the Lord in the Church rests: prophecy, proximity and hope. Consecrated persons are called to be people of encounter, custodians of wonder, who live the joy of gratitude. The Year of Consecrated Life has been like the river that "now converges in the sea of mercy, in this immense mystery of love that we are experiencing with the Extraordinary Jubilee.". He spoke similar words at the Jubilee of the Curia, where he invited the Pope's closest collaborators to become a model for all, so that "in our workplaces... let no one feel neglected or mistreated, but let each one experience, first of all, the loving care of the Good Shepherd.".

In the Bull of Convocation for the Holy Year of Mercy, Pope Francis asked that this year's Lent be lived with greater intensity, "as a strong moment to celebrate and experience God's mercy".. He then proposed three concrete tasks: to meditate again on Scripture passages where the merciful face of the Father shines forth, to take greater care of the sacrament of Reconciliation with confessors who are a sign of the primacy of mercy, and to welcome those who are in need of mercy. missionaries of mercy as an expression of the Church's maternal solicitude for the people of God.

The meditation of the Word of God under the perspective of divine mercy is being developed in the Wednesday General Audiences, in the meditations of the Angelus and in preaching to the rhythm of the liturgy. There we are presented with milestones of salvation history that contain teachings for the present time, such as the figure of Moses, who became a mediator of mercy, or the relationship between justice and mercy, or the biblical meaning of the "jubilee", which to be true must touch the pocketbook. In the Saturday Jubilee Audiences, the Pope continues to deepen the richness of divine mercy. Taking up the teachings of St. John Paul II, Francis has shown us the relationship between mercy and mission: "Living mercy makes us missionaries of mercy, and being missionaries allows us to grow more and more in God's mercy.". There is no lack of continuous references to confessors and missionaries of mercy, who must exercise their ministry by making visible the motherhood of the Church, seeking in the heart of the penitent the desire for forgiveness and helping him to overcome shame in the recognition of his guilt.

As a missionary of mercy, he met with the Patriarch of Moscow in Havana and traveled to Mexico, where the Successor of Peter experienced an important meeting with the Patriarch of Moscow. "transfiguration experience"with a spiritual barycenter in the sanctuary of the Virgin of Guadalupe, mother of mercy.

In brief

The Jubilee of Consecrated Life was celebrated on February 1, and the Jubilee of those working in the Curia was celebrated on February 22.

Special hearings
In addition to the Wednesday audience, one Saturday a month there is a special audience for the Jubilee: so far it has been on January 30 and February 20.

The Missionaries of Mercy were "sent" on Ash Wednesday. On the same day the Pope was with the Capuchin Friars.

Travel to Mexico
Francis was in Mexico on an intense pastoral trip covered elsewhere in this issue.

The authorRamiro Pellitero

Degree in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Santiago de Compostela. Professor of Ecclesiology and Pastoral Theology in the Department of Systematic Theology at the University of Navarra.

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