“The Sacrament of Reconciliation enables us to draw near to the Father trustfully, to have the certainty of his forgiveness. He is truly 'rich in mercy' and he extends it abundantly to those who turn to him with a sincere heart”, said the Pope in his homily during the penitential celebration in St. Peter's Basilica on Friday afternoon. “The transformation of the heart that leads us to confess our sins is a gift from God … it is 'His work'” he continued. “As we leave the confessional, we were his strength that restores life and rekindles the enthusiasm of faith. After confession we are reborn”.
“Jesus' call impels us all not to stop at the surface of things, especially when facing a person. We are called to look beyond, to focus on the heart to see how much generosity each person is capable of. No-one must be excluded from God's mercy. Everyone knows that the way to reach it, and the Church, is the house that welcomes all and refuses no-one. Its doors are always wide open, so that those who are touched by grace may find the certainty of forgiveness. The greater the sin, the greater the love must be that the Church expresses towards those who convert”.
“Dear brothers and sisters, I have often thought of how the Church may make more evident her mission as witness to mercy. It is a path that begins with a spiritual conversion; and we must take this path. Therefore, I have decided to convoke an extraordinary Jubilee, which will be centred upon God's mercy. It will be a Holy Year of Mercy. Let us live this in the light of the Word of the Lord: 'Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful'. And this is especially for confessors! Have mercy!”.
“I am convinced that all the Church, which is in great need of receiving mercy, as we are sinners, may find in this Jubilee the joy of rediscovering and making fruitful God's mercy, with which we are all called upon to give consolation to every man and every woman in our time. Let us not forget that God forgives everything, and God always forgives. Let us never tire of asking for forgiveness. Let us hereafter entrust this Year to the Mother of Mercy, that she might turn her gaze upon us and keep watch over our path; our path of repentance, our path with an open heart, a year long, to receive God's indulgence, to receive God's mercy”.