Holy Week is memorial of God's infinite mercy, pope says at audience

IMAGE: CNS/Paul Haring

By Junno Arocho Esteves

— God’s love is limitless and the church’s Holy Week services offer Christians a deeper
understanding of his infinite mercy, Pope Francis said.

The Easter Triduum
is a memorial to a love story “that gives us the certainty that we will
never be abandoned in life’s trials,” he said at his weekly general
audience in St. Peter’s Square March 23.

Continuing a series of talks dedicated to God’s mercy, the
pope reflected on each day of the Triduum leading to the celebration of Jesus’
resurrection. In remembering the washing of the feet and the institution of the
Eucharist on Holy Thursday, he said, Christians recall how Christ shows his disciples that the
“Eucharist is love that is done through service” to others.

“In giving himself to us as food,
Jesus attests that we must learn to break this nourishment with others so that it may become a true
communion of life with those who are in need. He gives himself to us and asks
us to remain in him in order to do the same,” he said.

Good Friday, he continued, is the
“climactic moment” of the love of God who offers salvation to the whole world; a love that
“embraces all and excludes no one.” The pope added that in
remembering Christ’s passion and death, Christians “can and must love one another.”

Christians are called to live Holy Saturday as a day of silence “like it was that very
day, which was the day of God’s silence,” he said.

“Our Lady should be the icon for us of that Holy Saturday,” the pope added. “Think a lot
about how Our Lady
lived that Holy Saturday: waiting.”

In order to fully understand the great mystery of God’s love
and mercy, Pope Francis recalled the writings of Julian of Norwich, an English
Christian mystic who experienced Jesus’ passion and death through visions.

During her visions, he said, she thanked Jesus for suffering
on the cross for all of humanity. Jesus told her that suffering the passion
“is a joy, a bliss, an endless
satisfaction to me; if I might suffer more, I would suffer more.”

Pope Francis told the pilgrims gathered for his audience, “Let
us allow ourselves to be enveloped by this mercy that comes to meet us. And in
these days, while our gaze is fixed on the Lord’s passion and death, let us
welcome into our hearts the greatness of his love and, like Our Lady on (Holy)
Saturday, in silence await the resurrection,” the pope said. 

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Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.

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