Pope Francis has declared this a year of mercy. We all need mercy. And we need images of mercy and comfort that remind us of God’s constant forgiveness, love and presence.
“Etymologically, ‘mercy’ derives from misericordis, which means opening one’s heart to wretchedness. And immediately we go to the Lord: mercy is the divine attitude which embraces, it is God’s giving himself to us, accepting us, and bowing to forgive. Jesus said he came not for those who were good but for the sinners. He did not come for the healthy, who do not need the doctor, but for the sick. For this reason, we can say that mercy is God’s identity card. God of Mercy, merciful God.”
“The most important thing in the life of every man and every woman is not that they should never fall along the way. The important thing is always to get back up, not to stay on the ground licking your wounds. The Lord of mercy always forgives me; he always offers me the possibility of starting over. He loves me for what I am, he wants to raise me up, and he extends his hand to me…. For as long as we are alive it is always possible to start over, all we have to do is let Jesus embrace us and forgive us.”
Just as He extends his hand to us, we extend a hand to others, we embrace and forgive others.
“Jesus sends forth his disciples not as holders of power or as masters of a law. He sends them forth into the world asking them to live in the logic of love and selflessness.”
- Pope Francis, The Name of God is Mercy