The Face of Mercy

Misericordiae Vultus (Latin: "The Face of Mercy") is a papal bull of induction issued on April 11, 2015 by Pope Francis. In it, he proclaims the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy from December 8, 2015 to November 20, 2016 as a Roman Catholic period of prayer known as the Year of Mercy. 

Misericordia means having a heart for the poor—poor in a large sense, not only material poverty, but also relational poverty, spiritual poverty, cultural poverty, and so on. This is not only heart, not only an emotion, but also an active attitude prompting us to intervene to change the situation of the other as much as we can. 

The Pope declares his thesis as: “Mercy cannot become a mere parenthesis in the life of the Church; it constitutes her very existence, through which the profound truths of the Gospel are made manifest and tangible. Everything is revealed in mercy; everything is resolved in the merciful love of the Father.”

The induction begins here and links to the complete text.

1. Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy. These words might well sum up the mystery of the Christian faith. Mercy has become living and visible in Jesus of Nazareth, reaching its culmination in him.

The Father, “rich in mercy” (Ephesians 2:4), after having revealed his name to Moses as “a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness” (Exodus 34:6), has never ceased to show, in various ways throughout history, his divine nature.

In the “fullness of time” (Galatians 4:4), when everything had been arranged according to his plan of salvation, he sent his only Son into the world, born of the Virgin Mary, to reveal his love for us in a definitive way.

Whoever sees Jesus sees the Father (John 14:9). Jesus of Nazareth, by his words, his actions, and his entire person reveals the mercy of God.
2. We need constantly to contemplate the mystery of mercy. It is a wellspring of joy, serenity, and peace. Our salvation depends on it.

Mercy: the word reveals the very mystery of the Most Holy Trinity.

Mercy: the ultimate and supreme act by which God comes to meet us.
Mercy: the fundamental law that dwells in the heart of every person who looks sincerely into the eyes of his brothers and sisters on the path of life.

Mercy: the bridge that connects God and man, opening our hearts to the hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness....


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