(FULL TEXT) Pope’s Wednesday general audience for January 27, 2016
VATICAN CITY — God’s mercy “never turns its gaze from human pain” but “reaches into everything” and makes man a “personal treasure” to God, Pope Francis said on Wednesday.
The pope’s words were part of his new series of catecheses exploring the mystery of divine mercy according to the biblical perspective. Today’s catechesis focused on God’s mercy at work in the history of the Chosen People, especially through his servant Moses.
Throughout the history of Israel, and still today, he said, “the God of mercy responds and cares for the poor, for those who cry out in despair … raising up men capable of hearing the groan of suffering and working on behalf of the oppressed.
“Moses, whom divine mercy saved from death as a newborn in the waters of the Nile, becomes mediator of that same mercy, allowing the people to be born to freedom, saved from the waters of the Red Sea.”
The Holy Father added: “We too, in this Year of Mercy, can do this work of being mediators of mercy through the works of mercy, to draw near, to support, to bring unity. So many good things can be done.”
The pope’s words come one day after the Vatican released his Message for Lent 2016, in which he invites the Christian faithful to intensify their daily practice of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.
In his catechesis on Wednesday, the pope spoke of the special bond of love which God, in his mercy, established with Israel. “The Lord, through Moses, guides Israel in the wilderness like a son, he forms him in faith and makes a covenant with him, creating a strong bond of love, like that of a father with his son and a groom with his bride,” he said.
“Of course,” he explained, “God already possesses all the earth because he created it; but the people [of Israel] become for him a different, special possession: his personal ‘reserves of gold and silver’ like the one that King David is said to have donated for the construction of the Temple.”
The mystery of God’s mercy culminates in the sending of his Son, the Lord Jesus, in that “new and eternal covenant” inaugurated in his blood, whereby we are granted the forgiveness of our sins and become truly God’s children, “precious jewels in the hands of a good and merciful Father.”
Read a full English translation of the Pope’s catechesis here.