St. Peter’s Square
Wednesday, 10 September 2014
Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our previous catechesis, we reflected on the Church as a Mother who nurtures us in the faith, guides us on the way of salvation, and protects us from evil. Today, I wish to reflect on the Church as a Mother who teaches us the works of mercy. A good teacher does not get lost in the details, but points to what is essential. For the Gospel, what is essential is mercy. As Jesus told the disciples to be merciful as the Father is merciful, so the Church teaches her sons and daughters to be merciful like the Father and the Son. She teaches by example, using words to explain her actions. She instructs us to feed the hungry and to clothe the naked, a lesson taught by many fathers and mothers to their children through the sacred rule of hospitality. She calls us to be close to the sick, clearly lived in so many hospital rooms, communities for the elderly and infirm, and private homes everywhere. She invites us to visit those imprisoned, where mercy is able to change hearts and lives, so that once freed, they may re-enter society renewed. And she asks us to be close to those who are abandoned and dying alone, where mercy brings peace to both those departing this life and those who remain. This is essential for salvation: that we may show mercy and love not only those who love us, but also those who cannot repay us, just as the Father had mercy on us and loved us through the gift of his Son Jesus. Let us thank the Lord for giving us the Church as our Mother, she who teaches us the path of mercy, the path of life.
Saluto cordialmente i pellegrini di lingua inglese presenti a questa Udienza, specialmente quelli provenienti da Inghilterra, Galles, Scozia, Finlandia, Svezia, Repubblica Ceca, Sud Africa, Filippine, Canada e Stati Uniti. Su tutti voi e sulle vostre famiglie invoco la misericordia e la pace del Signore, pregando che condividiate questi doni con tutti quelli che incontrerete. Dio vi benedica!
I offer an affectionate greeting to all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today’s Audience, including those from England, Wales, Scotland, Finland, Sweden, the Czech Republic, South Africa, the Philippines, Canada and the United States. Upon all of you, I invoke the mercy and peace of the Lord, praying that you may share these gifts with all whom you will encounter. May God bless you!
Official Vatican News