On June 2, Pope Francis offered a retreat for priests as part of the Jubilee for Priests taking in place in Rome June 1-3. The retreat consisted of three meditations offered at three of the major papal basilicas: St. John Lateran, St. Mary Major and St. Paul Outside the Walls. During the retreat, Pope Francis stressed the importance of mercy as an action, which we must both give and receive.
According to Vatican Radio:
“God’s name is mercy,” Pope Francis said in his first meditation. “If we reflect on this natural feeling of mercy we begin to see how God Himself can be understood in terms of this defining attribute by which Jesus wished to reveal Him to us.”
At the papal Archbasilica of St John Lateran, Pope Francis focused on the parable of the prodigal son. He reflected on the “embarrassed dignity” of the son who returned to his father – he is embarrassed by what he has done, but his father restores him to his dignity. Mercy, the Pope said, helps us to maintain the balance between acknowledging that we are sinners, and recognizing our dignity as children loved by the Father. If we can see ourselves in the place of the son, who was shown mercy by the father, we in turn will be led to be merciful to others.
Read the full text of Pope Francis’ meditations here: