Proclaim Christ the king of mercy, pope says at end of Holy Year
Following Christ the King, whose regal power is love and mercy, means the whole Church and each Christian must “follow his way of tangible love,” Pope Francis said.
Celebrating the feast of Christ the King on Sunday and officially closing the extraordinary jubilee celebration of the Year of Mercy, Pope Francis insisted, “we have received mercy in order to be merciful.” On a warm, late autumn morning, St Peter’s Square was filled with an estimated 70,000 people for the Mass, which was concelebrated by the new cardinals Pope Francis had created the previous day.
The pope and the new cardinals first went to the atrium of St Peter’s Basilica and gave thanks for “the gifts of grace received” during the Holy Year. Pope Francis then went to the threshold of the Holy Door and pulled each side shut. The door will be sealed until the next Holy Year, which is likely to be 2025.
In his homily, Pope Francis said that even if the Holy Door is closed, “the true door of mercy, which is the heart of Christ, always remains open wide for us.” The power of Christ the King, he said, “is not power as defined by this world, but the love of God, a love capable of encountering and healing all things.” Like the “good thief” who turned to Jesus on the cross and was assured a place in heaven, anyone who turns to God with trust can be forgiven, the pope said. “He is ready to completely and forever cancel our sin, because his memory – unlike our own – does not record evil that has been done or keep score of injustices experienced.”
Picture: Pope Francis signs an apostolic letter, ‘Misericordia et Misera,’ (Mercy and Misery) after celebrating the closing Mass of the jubilee Year of Mercy in St Peter’s Square at the Vatican on Sunday. In the letter the pope called for several special initiatives begun during the Year of Mercy to continue on a permanent basis.Tags: Christians, feast of Christ the King, Pope Francis, St Peter's Square, Vatican, Year of Mercy