· With Mass in Saint Peter’s Square the Pope concludes the Extraordinary Jubilee ·
The Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy solemnly concluded with the image of Pope Francis closing the heavy doors of the Vatican Basilica on Sunday morning, 20 November. However, the Pontiff emphasized that “the true door of mercy which is the heart of Christ always remains open wide for us”, as he celebrated in St Peter’s Square the Mass for the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. In his homily, the Pope spoke of the kingship of Jesus which culminates on the Cross, and he cautioned against seeking out “the comforts and certainties offered by the world”. How often, the Pope stated, “are we tempted to come down from the Cross. The lure of power and success seem an easy, quick way to spread the Gospel; we soon forget how the Kingdom of God works”. Yet on the contrary, “this Year of Mercy invites us to rediscover the core, to return to what is essential”. Indeed, it “calls us to look to the true face of our King, the one that shines out at Easter, and to rediscover the youthful, beautiful face of the Church, the face that is radiant when it is welcoming, free, faithful, poor in means but rich in love, on mission”.
Turning then to the good thief who appears in the scene of the Passion, the Pope pointed out that God is “ready to completely and forever cancel our sin, because his memory — unlike our own — does not record evil that has been done or keep score of injustices experienced”. Therefore we must “ask for the grace of never closing the doors of reconciliation and pardon”.
At the end of Mass, the Pontiff signed the Apostolic Letter Misericordia et Misera (Mercy with Misery), addressed to the entire Church so as to continue living the mercy experienced during the Jubilee.
St. Peter’s Square
Jan. 19, 2018
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