Pope Francis preached a retreat for priests on Thursday, offering a series of three meditations on the theme of mercy.
The retreat was part of the Jubilee of Priests, one of a series of special Jubilees for various groups within the Church during the Holy Year of Mercy.
The Jubilee for Priests began on Wednesday, and will conclude tomorrow, on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The Holy Father delivered his meditations for the priest’s retreat in the Papal Basilicas of St John Lateran, St Mary Major, and St Paul’s Outside the Walls.
“God’s name is mercy,” Pope Francis said in his first meditation. “If we reflect on this natural feeling of mercy we begin to see how God Himself can be understood in terms of this defining attribute by which Jesus wished to reveal Him to us.”
At the papal Archbasilica of St John Lateran, Pope Francis focused on the parable of the prodigal son. He reflected on the “embarrassed dignity” of the son who returned to his father – he is embarrassed by what he has done, but his father restores him to his dignity. Mercy, the Pope said, helps us to maintain the balance between acknowledging that we are sinners, and recognizing our dignity as children loved by the Father. If we can see ourselves in the place of the son, who was shown mercy by the father, we in turn will be led to be merciful to others.
Full text of Pope Francis’ first meditation for the Retreat for Priests:
Full text of Pope Francis’ second meditation for the Retreat for Priests:
Full text of Pope Francis’ third meditation for the Retreat for Priests:
Courtesy: Vatican Radio; Image: ANSA