Pope Francis called upon all Catholics to share the message of God’s love and mercy in the spirit of Easter in a small Divine Mercy Church service on Sunday.
Celebrating the Mass for Divine Mercy Sunday at the Rome Church of the Holy Spirit on April 11, Pope Francis said the disciples experienced divine mercy after Jesus rose from the dead.
“Today Jesus tells us, too, ‘Peace be with you! You are precious in my eyes. Peace be with you! You are important for me. Peace be with you! You have a mission. No one can take your place. You are irreplaceable. And I believe in you,'” he said.
The Mass was attended by less than 100 people including nurses, doctors and refugees, and was conducted in strict conformity with all the COVID-19 regulations. Pope Francis thanked all those in attendance, telling them that they represent “realities where mercy becomes concrete, draws close and serves those in difficulty.”
During the mass, the Pope delivered a homily on how Christ was deserted by his disciples at the hour of his death. He said the disciples locked themselves in a room in fear but Christ appeared to them soon after resurrection showering them with his mercy.
“Having received that mercy, they become merciful in turn,” the pope said. “It’s very difficult to be merciful if you have not been shown mercy.”
The Pope told the congregants that Jesus forgave his disciples for abandoning him at the hour of need. He gave them courage and reminded them of the need to stand firm and declare his goodness.
“The disciples were guilty; they had run away, they had abandoned the master,” the pope said. “Sin brings torment; evil has its price. Our sin, as the psalmist says, is always before us.”
“Like those disciples, we need to let ourselves be forgiven,” the pope said. “Let us ask for the grace to accept that gift, to embrace the sacrament of forgiveness. And to understand that confession is not about ourselves and our sins, but about God and his mercy.”
Reminding priest of their duty, Pope Francis said anytime a Christian comes to them for confession; they ought to deliver the message of “the sweetness of mercy” and the love of Jesus who forgives all sins.
Expounding on the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, the pope reminded the congregation of how early Christians shared what they had. He said this was “pure Christianity.”
He said Catholics should emulate the example of Christ by showing mercy to others and feeding the hungry.
“Let us not remain indifferent,” Pope Francis said. “Let us not live a one-way faith, a faith that receives but does not give, a faith that accepts the gift but does not give it in return.”