Each of us must respond to the gift of mercy in our hearts by getting up and putting mercy into action, Pope Francis said Wednesday.
Speaking about a bishop who had in his cathedral one Holy Door of mercy for entering and one for exiting, Pope Francis said: “Let us also do the same with the journey that goes from the heart to the hands.”
“Let us enter the church through the door of mercy, to receive the forgiveness of Jesus, who tells us: ‘Arise! Go, go!’ And with this ‘Go!’ – on foot – let us leave through the exit door,” he continued.Pope Francis gave this reflection at the end of his General Audience in the Vatican’s Paul VI audience hall Aug. 10.
Pope Francis reflected on the pain of the mother of the young boy who died in Luke 7 and the compassion that Christ felt for her, saying it is the mother’s great pain which moved Christ to perform the miracle of reviving the boy from death.
St. Luke, Pope Francis said, writes that upon seeing the woman, “the Lord was moved by great compassion for her and said to her, ‘Do not cry!'”
During this Jubilee Year it would be good for pilgrims to remember this story from the Gospel when entering the Holy Door, “the Gate of Mercy,” Pope Francis explained.
“We are confident that, at the Holy Door, the Lord is near to meet each one of us, to bring and offer his powerful word consoling: ‘Do not cry!’ This is the door of the meeting between the pain of humanity and compassion of God.”
Pope Francis told those present that crossing the threshold is the beginning of our journey in God’s mercy, a mercy which tells us to “arise,” just as Christ told the boy in the Gospel of Luke.
At the Holy Door, each person brings his or her life, with all of its “joys and sufferings, projects and failures, doubts and fears,” Pope Francis reminded pilgrims. “Present it at the mercy of the Lord,” he told them.
“In passing through the Holy Door, we try to feel in our heart this word: ‘Get up!'”
Pope Francis explained that Christ heals us of our failures, revives us, and gives us hope. In the Holy Door, each of us can find the “inexhaustible treasure of God’s mercy.”
At the word of Christ, the dead boy sat up and began to speak. “What Jesus did is therefore not only an action of salvation destined to the widow and her son, or a gesture of kindness limited to that town,” he said. “Today too the Church recognizes a visit from God.”
“Mercy, both in Jesus and in us, is a journey that starts from the heart to get to the hands. What does this mean? Jesus looks at you, heals you with his mercy, tells you: ‘Get up!’, And your heart is new,” Pope Francis concluded.