A day after opening the Holy Door in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis explained at his general audience why he convened the Jubilee of Mercy.
He said that it wasn’t simply something that would be good for the Church. Rather, it was necessary. First, he believes it’s needed to show the world why forgiveness is important. And second, it shows people the strong desire that God has to forgive them.
“The joy of God is forgiveness. God is mercy and that is why, this year, we must open our hearts so that this joy of God can fill us.”
The Pope added that the Church has the responsibility of showing the world God’s closeness and that his principal characteristic is mercy. The Jubilee Year is a unique occasion to experience that mercy, he explained.
“It means to learn that forgiveness and mercy are what God wishes for most. And it’s what the world needs, above all, in this current moment in which so little is forgiven in society, in institutions, at work, and also in the family.”
Further, he suggested that work done to improve the structure of the Church must lead it to be a “shining city” that shows the mercy of God.
“If we forget, even for a moment, that mercy is what God likes most, all efforts would be in vain because we would become enslaved to our institutions, to our structures, no matter how renewed they are.”
The Pope concluded by wishing that everyone would experience the closeness of God during the upcoming Holy Year. He recommended an important requirement:for sinners to repent. It is the first step, and its indispensable to open the doors of divine mercy.