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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

General audience: God gives us the legacy of mercy

Vatican City, 27 January 2016 (VIS) -God's mercy has always been present throughout the history of the People of Israel, accompanying the way of Patriarchs, endowing them with offspring despite their sterility as in the case of Abraham and Sarah, and leading them on paths of grace and reconciliation, as is shown by the story of Joseph and his brothers. When life became difficult due to slavery in Egypt, God was not indifferent to their suffering. He saved them from the Pharaoh through Moses, he took them out of Egypt and led them through the Red Sea and the desert to the promised land and to freedom. This was the theme of the Holy Father's catechesis during this Wednesday's general audience in St. Peter's Square, entitled "God heard their groaning and He remembered His covenant", drawn from the Book of Exodus.

"Mercy is not indifferent to the pain of the oppressed, to the cry of those who suffer violence and slavery or are condemned to death. Suffering is a sad reality that afflicts every age, including our own, and often makes us feel helpless, tempting us to harden our hearts and think of other things. God, however, is not indifferent; He never turns away from human suffering. The God of mercy … intervenes to save, inspiring men capable of hearing the cry of suffering and of working in favour of the oppressed".

Moses, one of God's chosen ones, saved from the waters of the Nile by divine mercy, becomes a mediator for the liberation of his people. "And we too, in this Year of Mercy, can be mediators … with the works of mercy, being close to our neighbours, to relieve them. They are many good things we can do", added the Pope. "God's mercy always acts to save us. The Lord, through his servant Moses, leads Israel in the desert like a child, educating his people in faith and creating a strong bond of love, like that between a father and son, or a bride and groom. … God possesses all the earth because He has created it, but the people become for Him a different type of possession: His personal reserve of gold and silver, like the treasure King David says he has donated for the construction of the Temple. This is what we become for God by welcoming his covenant and letting ourselves be saved by Him. The Lord's mercy makes man precious, like a personal wealth that belongs to Him, that He conserves and is pleased with".

"These are the wonders of divine mercy, that finds fulfilment in the Lord Jesus, in that 'new and eternal alliance' consummated with His blood, that with forgiveness destroys our sin and definitively makes us children of God, precious jewels in the hands of the good and merciful Father. And if we are sons of God, we have the possibility of inheriting this goodness and mercy. Let us ask the Lord, in this Year of Mercy … to open our heart to reach everyone with the works of mercy, the legacy of the mercy that God the Father has shown to us", concluded the bishop of Rome.

The Pope invites faithful to "Cor Unum" retreat and greets circus performers

Vatican City, 27 January 2016 (VIS) – Following today's catechesis, the Holy Father mentioned that the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum", on the occasion of the Jubilee of Mercy, has arranged a day of spiritual retreat for people and groups involved in charity service. The day, to be held in the individual dioceses during the upcoming Lenten period, "will offer an opportunity to reflect on the call to be merciful like the Father", said Francis, inviting those present to welcome this proposal, following the indications and using the materials prepared by "Cor Unum".

After his special greetings to the young, the sick and newly-weds, the Pope mentioned that tomorrow will be the feast day of St. Thomas Aquinas, patron of Catholic schools. "His example inspires you, dear young people, to see in the merciful Jesus the sole teacher of life; may his intercession obtain for those of you who are sick the serenity and peace present in the mystery of the Cross; and may his doctrine encourage you, dear newly-weds, to trust in the wisdom of the heart to fulfil your mission".

Finally, he greeted a group of circus performers and acrobats, reiterating that their profession is the creation of beauty, and beauty always brings us closer to God.

Other Pontifical Acts

Vatican City, 27 January 2016 (VIS) – The Holy Father has appointed Fr. Adilson Pedro Busin, C.S., as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Porto Alegre (area 13,530, population 3,423,000, Catholics 2,547,000, priests 359, permanent deacons 59, religious 1,450), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Sarandi, Brazil in 1965, gave his permanent vows in 1992 and was ordained a priest in 1993. He holds a licentiate in science of education from the Pontifical Salesian University of Rome, and has served in a number of roles in his congregation, including vocational animator and rector of the minor seminary of Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, master of novices in Porto Alegre, and provincial superior. He is currently regional vicar for the South American region, president of the Scalabrinian Association for the service of migrants, and master of novices.

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