Mercy received must be mercy shared, pope says at audience

IMAGE: CNS photo/Max Rossi, Reuters

By Cindy Wooden

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — God’s mercy is infectious and must be
shared with others, Pope Francis said.

Mercy is “a journey that departs from the heart to
arrive at the hands,” the pope said Aug. 10 at his weekly general

In his main audience talk, Pope Francis focused on the
Gospel story of Jesus raising from the dead the son of the widow of Nain,
giving renewed hope not just to the woman and her son, but to all.

“The powerful word of Jesus can make us rise again and takes
us, too, from death to life,” the pope said. “His word revives us,
gives hope, refreshes weary hearts and opens us to a vision of the world and of
life that goes beyond suffering and death.”

Pope Francis ended his main talk by insisting that
“Jesus watches you, heals you with his mercy and says, ‘Arise,’ and your
heart is new.”

“And what do I do now with this new heart healed by
Jesus?” he asked. “I do the works of mercy with my hands and I try to
help, to heal the many who are in need. Mercy is a journey that departs from the
heart and arrives at the hands, at the works of mercy.”

Greeting Italian visitors at the end of the audience, the
pope returned to his point about how the experience of mercy must lead
Christians to concrete acts of mercy toward others.

Recently, he said, a bishop told him that in his cathedral, there is not just one Holy Door designated for the Year of Mercy, but two.

One Holy Door is an entrance, the doorway people pass
through to ask for God’s forgiveness and receive it in the sacraments. The other
door is an exit, “to go out and bring God’s mercy to others with the works
of mercy. This bishop is intelligent, isn’t he?” the pope said.

“In our hearts we receive the mercy of Jesus, who gives
us pardon because God forgives everything, everything,” the pope said. “He
raises us up. He gives us new life and he also infects us with his compassion. From
our hearts forgiven and healed, and with the compassion of Jesus, the journey
toward our hands begins, that it, toward the works of mercy.”

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Follow Wooden on Twitter @Cindy_Wooden

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