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Pope Francis: Christ’s wounds shower ‘mercy upon our misery’

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by Hannah Brockhaus

Vatican City, Apr 11, 2021 / 05:48 am America/Denver (CNA).

At every Mass we adore and kiss Christ’s wounded and risen body in the Eucharist, a channel of his mercy, Pope Francis said on Divine Mercy Sunday.

Offering Mass at the Church of Santo Spirito in Sassia April 11, the pope reflected on Jesus’ appearances to his disciples between his resurrection and his ascension, explaining that the disciples received the mercy of Jesus Christ through the gifts of his peace, forgiveness, and wounds.

“His wounds are open channels between him and us, shedding mercy upon our misery,” Francis said. “His wounds are the pathways that God has opened up for us to enter into his tender love and actually ‘touch’ who he is. Let us never again doubt his mercy.”

“In adoring and kissing his wounds, we come to realize that in his tender love all our weaknesses are accepted,” the pope continued. “This happens at every Mass, where Jesus offers us his wounded and risen Body. We touch him and he touches our lives. He makes heaven come down to us. His radiant wounds dispel the darkness we carry within.”

He said: “Like Thomas, we discover God; we realize how close he is to us and we are moved to exclaim, ‘My Lord and my God!’ (John 20:28). Everything comes from this, from the grace of receiving mercy.”

Pope Francis celebrated Mass on Divine Mercy Sunday together with several priests who were designated “Missionaries of Mercy” during the Jubilee Year of Mercy in 2016.

Around 80 people were invited to attend the pope’s Mass, including a group of inmates from three Rome prisons: Regina Caeli, Rebibbia female, and Casal del Marmo.

Nurses from the nearby Hospital of S. Spirito in Sassia were also present, as well as people with disabilities, a family of migrants from Argentina, and young refugees from Syria, Nigeria, and Egypt.

Religious sisters of the Hospitaller Sisters of Mercy, and Civil Protection volunteers also attended the pope’s Mass.

“I address a special greeting to you, present here in the Church of Santo Spirito in Sassia, the Shrine of Divine Mercy,” the pope said at the end of Mass.

“You represent some of the situations in which mercy is made tangible; it becomes closeness, service, care for those in difficulty,” he said. “I hope you will always feel you have been granted mercy, so as to be merciful to others in turn.”

Before reciting the Regina Coeli, a Marian antiphon prayed during the Easter season, Francis said: “May the Virgin Mary, Mother of Mercy, obtain this grace for us all.”

Afterward, Pope Francis greeted each person individually before returning to the Vatican.

Located down the street from St. Peter’s Basilica, Santo Spirito in Sassia is Rome’s official Divine Mercy shrine.

Originally built as a hospital chapel, the 16th-century church was transformed into a center of Divine Mercy spirituality at the request of St. Pope John Paul II in 1994. In a side chapel, the church has a large copy of the Divine Mercy painting of Christ, and relics of St. Faustina Kowalska and St. Pope John Paul II.

In his homily on Sunday, Pope Francis said because we have been forgiven by God in his abundant mercy, we must show the same mercy to others.

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