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Why have a Jubilee of Mercy?

on Friday, 01 January 2016. Posted in Pope Francis

Pope Francis opens the Holy DoorOn December 9, 2015, during the Wednesday general audience, and the day after the opening of the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis explained why he declared this special Holy Year:

Yesterday I opened here, in St. Peter’s Basilica, the Holy Door of the Jubilee of Mercy, after having previously opened it in the Cathedral of Bangui, Central Africa. Today I would like to reflect together with you on the meaning of this Holy Year, responding to the question: Why have a Jubilee of Mercy? What does this mean?

The Church is in need of this extraordinary occasion. I am not saying: this extraordinary occasion is good for the Church. I am saying: the Church needs this extraordinary occasion. In this era of profound changes, the Church is called to offer her particular contribution, rendering visible the signs of the presence and closeness of God...

It is a Holy Year, therefore, so as to live mercy. Yes, dear brothers and sisters, this Holy Year is offered to us so that we may experience in our lives the sweet and gratifying touch of God’s forgiveness, His presence beside us and His closeness especially in the moments of greatest need.

This Jubilee, in other words, is a privileged moment for the Church to learn to choose only “what pleases God most”. What is it that “pleases God most”? Forgiving His children, having mercy on them, so that they may in turn forgive their brothers and sisters, shining as a flame of God’s mercy in the the world. This is what pleases God most...

Dear brothers and sisters, I hope that, in this Holy Year, each one of us may experience God’s mercy, in order to be witnesses to “what pleases God most”. Is it naïve to believe that this can change the world? Yes, humanly speaking, it is foolish, but “the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Cor 1:25).

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