Misericordiae Vultus 25: Conclusion

head of ChristNow we arrive at the end of the document proclaiming the Jubilee Year. Have any of you held back observations until now? Feel free to share them.

25. I present, therefore, this Extraordinary Jubilee Year dedicated to living out in our daily lives the mercy which the Father constantly extends to all of us. In this Jubilee Year, let us allow God to surprise us.

Opening ourselves to surprise: a most under-appreciated experience, in my opinion. Often it’s a far better thing than the same ol’ continuity.

He never tires of throwing open the doors of his heart and repeats that he loves us and wants to share his love with us. The Church feels the urgent need to proclaim God’s mercy. Her life is authentic and credible only when she becomes a convincing herald of mercy. She knows that her primary task, especially at a moment full of great hopes and signs of contradiction, is to introduce everyone to the great mystery of God’s mercy by contemplating the face of Christ. The Church is called above all to be a credible witness to mercy, professing it and living it as the core of the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Pope Francis mentions credibility again. Clearly, this is one of the core messages of the year, and important enough for us to pay close attention.

From the heart of the Trinity, from the depths of the mystery of God, the great river of mercy wells up and overflows unceasingly. It is a spring that will never run dry, no matter how many people approach it. Every time someone is in need, he or she can approach it, because the mercy of God never ends. The profundity of the mystery surrounding it is as inexhaustible as the richness which springs up from it.

Another important insight: that mercy does not involve some kind of zero-sum game. In other words, we can be assured there will not be hell to pay for exercising mercy, and doing it generously.

This isn’t to say, it will be easy for any of us. Extending mercy may present us with disappointment, fatigue, doubt, resentment, and cloud our clarity.

In this Jubilee Year, may the Church echo the word of God that resounds strong and clear as a message and a sign of pardon, strength, aid, and love. May she never tire of extending mercy, and be ever patient in offering compassion and comfort. May the Church become the voice of every man and woman, and repeat confidently without end: “Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old” (Ps 25:6).

The sign-off:

Given in Rome, at Saint Peter’s, on 11 April, the Vigil of the Second Sunday of Easter, or Sunday of Divine Mercy, in the year of our Lord 2015, the third of my Pontificate.


The highlighted text is © copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana. You can find the document in its entirety on the Vatican website here.

Any last comments?

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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2 Responses to Misericordiae Vultus 25: Conclusion

  1. FrMichael says:

    “In other words, we can be assured there will not be hell to pay for exercising mercy, and doing it generously.” Actually, if I knowingly attempt to absolve a reserved sin (e.g. sacrilege against the Blessed Sacrament) expect in danger of death I can expect that there will be ramifications here and most likely hereafter for simulating a sacrament.

    • Todd says:

      But let’s keep in mind the bottom line: the efficacy of a sacrament depends on God’s grace. Not a confessor’s acumen, or the perfect/imperfect intention of a recipient/celebrant.

      The distinction, FrMichael, is the imitation of Christ, not the imitation of a medieval lawgiver. For those reserved sins, I suppose you’ll have to call on the services of a missionary of mercy. Has your bishop requested this yet?

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