"Be merciful, just as your father is merciful."
Dec 8th 2015 to Nov 20th 2016
"Be merciful, just as your father
Pope Francis announces
new global jubilee,
The Holy Year of Mercy
Pope Francis is calling on the entire global Roman Catholic Church to take up his papacy's central message of compassion and pardon, Pope Francis on Friday announced that he is convoking a jubilee year to be called the Holy Year of Mercy.
Saying he has "thought often about how the church can make more evident its mission of being a witness of mercy," the pope announced the new jubilee year during a Lenten penitential service in St. Peter's Basilica.
"I am convinced that the whole church -- that has much need to receive mercy because we are sinners — will find in this jubilee the joy to rediscover and render fruitful the mercy of God, with which we are all called to give consolation to every man and woman of our time," Francis said in announcing the year.
"Let us not forget that God pardons and God pardons always,
” the pope continued. "Let us never tire of asking for forgiveness."
"We entrust it as of now to the Mother of Mercy, because she looks to us with her gaze and watches over our way," Francis said. "Our penitential way, our way of open hearts, during a year to receive the indulgence of God, to receive the mercy of God."
The pope also said he wants the church to live the upcoming holy year "in the light" of Jesus' words in the Gospel of Luke:
"Be merciful, just as your father is merciful."
Our vision is to offer an opportunity to gather together in Praise and Worship, to receive sound Christian teaching from local and international speakers and to celebrate the Holy Mass each day.
Our mission is to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ in accordance with the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church.
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Have courage! Embrace your mission.
Pope Francis stressed this during his Angelus address in St. Peter’s Square, as he reflected on today’s readings, especially St. Paul’s Letter to Timothy, in which he encourages his disciple to remember that as Christians we are called to set out and evangelize.
Francis observed how St. Paul’s autobiographical account today is timely, given that today is World Mission Sunday, with the theme “Missionary Church, a witness of mercy.”
In Paul, the Jesuit Pope pointed out, Christians find a model for seeing that it is the presence of the Lord that makes apostolic and evangelical work effective. Francis stressed that Paul’s experiences remind us how we are to engage in pastoral and missionary activities.
Courage to Fight, Even If Don’t Win
On the one hand, Francis encouraged, we should engage in them “as if the result depended on our efforts, with the spirit of sacrifice of an athlete who does not stop, even in the face of defeats,” and on the other, “knowing that the true success of our mission is a gift of grace: it is the Holy Spirit who makes the Church’s mission in the world effective.”
“Today is a time of mission and a time of courage!” he stressed.
The Holy Father reminded those present that courage is required of us Christians, in a variety of ways, including that “to strengthen the tottering steps, to commit ourselves to the Gospel, “to regain confidence in the strength that mission brings,” and that which tries even without “having a guarantee of success.”
“We are to have a courage to fight, not necessarily to win,” he said, and also “to not always conform to the ways of the world,” but in a way “that is never argumentative or aggressive.”
In addition, he noted, we are to have the courage “to be open to all, to stand up to disbelief, and call on God to be merciful on us as sinners.
“Today, is time of courage!” Francis exclaimed. “Today, we must have courage!”
The Pope also prayed that Mary, model of the ‘outgoing’ Church, help us be missionary disciples “who bring the message of salvation to the whole human family.”
‘Left Crying, Without Words’ … an Appeal for Iraq
After reciting the midday prayer, Francis turned to the tragic events in Iraq, saying he is especially close to the nation’s suffering people, especially those of the city of Mosul.
“Our minds are shaken by the heinous acts of violence that for too much time have been committed against innocent citizens, both Muslims and Christians, and also all those of other ethnicities and religions,” he said, noting, “I was saddened to hear news of the killing in cold blood of many, including many children.”
“This cruelty,” Francis said, “makes us cry, leaving us without words.” The word of solidarity accompanies the assurance of my remembrance in prayer, to Iraq, while suffering, both strong and steadfast in hope to be able to move towards a future of security, of reconciliation and peace.
The Holy Father then asked the some 50,000 pilgrims in the Square to join him in praying in silence, and then in reciting a Hail Mary.
After this appeal, Pope Francis greeted the various groups present including those in Rome for the Jubilee of Choirs and all the Poles in Rome and in Poland celebrating the 1050th Anniversary of Christianity in Poland.
As usual, Pope Francis wished those present a good Sunday, good lunch, and asking those present to pray for him.
Posted by ZENIT Staff on 23 October, 2016
Here is a ZENIT translation of the address Pope Francis gave today before and after praying the midday Angelus with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
Before the Angelus:
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
The second reading of today’s liturgy presents to us the exhortation of St. Paul to Timothy, his disciple, which reflects on his existence as an Apostle totally consecrated to the mission (cf. 2 Tm 4,6-8.16-18). Seeing by that point that he was nearing the end of his earthly journey, Paul describes it in reference to three [seasons]: the present, the past, the future.
The ‘present’, Paul interprets with the metaphor of sacrifice: “I am already being poured out like a libation” (v. 6). As for the ‘past,’ Paul points to his past life with images of the “good fight” and “race” of a man that was consistent with his commitments and responsibilities (cf. v. 7); consequently, for the ‘future’, he trusts in recognition from God, who is the “just judge” (v. 8). But Paul’s mission was effective, just and true, only thanks to the closeness and strength of the Lord, which made him a preacher of the Gospel to all peoples. Here is his expression: “But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed and all the Gentiles might hear it” (v. 17).
In this autobiographical account of St. Paul, the Church, especially today–being World Mission Sunday, with the theme “Missionary Church, a witness of mercy”–is reflected. In Paul, the Christian community finds its model in the belief that it is the presence of the Lord that makes effective apostolic work and the work of evangelization. The experience of the Apostle of the Gentiles reminds us that we must engage in pastoral and missionary activities, on the one hand, as if the result depended on our efforts, with the spirit of sacrifice of an athlete who does not stop, even in the face of defeats; on the other, however, knowing that the true success of our mission is a gift of grace: it is the Holy Spirit who makes the Church’s mission in the world effective.
Today is a time of mission and a time of courage! Courage to strengthen the tottering steps, to commit ourselves to the Gospel, to regain confidence in the strength that mission brings. It is a time of courage, although courage does not mean having no guarantee of success. What is required of us is courage to fight, not necessarily to win; to announce, not necessarily to convert. We are required to have the courage to be willing to not always conform in the world, but without ever becoming argumentative or aggressive. Required of us also is the courage to be open to all, to never belittle the absoluteness and uniqueness of Christ, the one Savior of all. We are required to have the courage to stand up to unbelief, without becoming arrogant. We are also required to have the courage of the publican in today’s Gospel, who, with humility, does not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beats his breast, saying: “O God, be merciful to me a sinner.” Today, is time of courage! Today, we must have courage!
May the Virgin Mary, model of the ‘outgoing’ Church, and docile to the Holy Spirit, help us all to be, by virtue of our baptism, missionary disciples who bring the message of salvation to the whole human family.
[Original text: Italian] [Translation by Deborah Castellano Lubov]
After the Angelus:
Pope’s Appeal for Iraq:
In these dramatic hours, I am close to the entire the population of Iraq, especially those of the city of Mosul. Our minds are shaken by the heinous acts of violence that for too much time have been being committed against innocent citizens, both Muslims and Christians, and also all those of other ethnicities and religions. I was saddened to hear news of the killing in cold blood of many in that beloved land, including many children. This cruelty makes us cry, leaving us without words. The word of solidarity accompanies the assurance of my remembrance in prayer, to Iraq, while suffering, both strong and steadfast in hope to be able to move towards a future of security, of reconciliation and peace. Therefore, I ask all of you to join in my prayer in silence…
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I greet all of you with affection, pilgrims from Italy and various countries, starting with the Poles, who remember here in Rome and in their homeland, the 1050th anniversary of the presence of Christianity in Poland.
I welcome the participants of the Jubilee of Italian Choirs, the runners from Assisi representing the Italian Pro Loco, and the youth of the confraternities of the dioceses of Italy.
Then there are groups of faithful from many Italian parishes: I cannot greet them one by one, but I encourage them to persevere on their journey of faith. A special thought goes to the Peruvian community of Rome, who gathered here with the sacred image of the Señor de los Milagros.
I thank you all and greet you with affection. Have a nice Sunday! And please, do not forget to pray for me. Good lunch and goodbye!
[Original Text: Italian] [Translation by Deborah Castellano Lubov]
Posted by ZENIT Staff on 23 October, 2016
Jesus addressed this parable
to those who were convinced of their own righteousness
and despised everyone else.
“Two people went up to the temple area to pray;
one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector.
The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself,
‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity —
greedy, dishonest, adulterous — or even like this tax collector.
I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’
But the tax collector stood off at a distance
and would not even raise his eyes to heaven
but beat his breast and prayed,
‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’
I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former;
for whoever exalts himself will be humbled,
and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
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