Pope: Mercy, compassion at heart of new covenant

Pope Francis meets with students in Paul VI audience hall on May 31, 2014. Credit: Daniel Ibáñez/CNA.

In his first general audience since June, Pope Francis continued his catechesis on the Church, explaining that Jesus fulfills the Old Testament by giving a new teaching on mercy in the beatitudes.

“At the heart of the new covenant is our realization that, in Christ, we are embraced by God’s mercy and compassion, and that our lives must bear witness to his love for all our brothers and sisters,” the pontiff stated in his Aug. 6 general audience.

Beginning a catechesis on the Church shortly before breaking for summer, Pope Francis continued this line of reflection, telling those gathered in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall “Dear Brothers and Sisters, in today’s audience we resume our catechesis on the Church, the People of God.”

“Prepared for in the Old Testament and established by Christ in the fullness of time, the Church is a new people, founded on a new covenant” which is “sealed with the blood of Jesus,” he said.

Explaining how this newness brought by Jesus “does not set aside what went before, but brings it to completion,” the Roman Pontiff noted the importance of the figure of John the Baptist in scripture, stating that it “is very significant since it prepares the people to receive the Lord.”

“Saint John the Baptist is a bridge between the prophecies and promises of the Old Testament and their fulfilment in the New,” he said, observing how he “points to Jesus and calls us to follow him in repentance and conversion.”

Going on, the Pope pointed out that “Jesus also, on a small hill, delivered a new teaching to his disciples, which begins with the beatitudes.”

“The new law which Jesus gives in the Sermon on the Mount perfects the law given to Moses on Mount Sinai,” he explained, stating that “In the Beatitudes, Jesus shows us the way in which, with his grace, we can attain authentic happiness.”

Observing how the beatitudes “are like the portrait of Jesus, his way of life and path to happiness that the human heart longs for,” Pope Francis drew attention to how Jesus tells us in the Gospel of Matthew “that our Christian life will be judged on how we treat him in the least of our brethren.”

“In addition to the new law, the Lord invites us to recognize it in the poor, in those that suffer, in those in need.”

“We will be judged on this at the end of our lives,” he said, adding that “The new covenant consists precisely in recognizing that thanks to Christ, mercy and the compassion of God surround us.”

Following his weekly address, the Bishop of Rome extended his greeting to the thousands of pilgrims gathered, which included groups from the United Kingdom, Norway, Zimbabwe, Japan, the United States, Spain, Mexico and Argentina.

He also pointed out that the day marked the feast of the transfiguration of Jesus, and prayed “that his grace transforms us into his image, so that living in the spirit of the beatitudes we are light and consolation to our brothers.”


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Jean Beliveau, RIP

REV. RONALD ROLHEISER, OMI

Jean Beliveau was more than an athlete, though certainly he was a one-in-a-million athlete. The record of his achievements almost defies belief. He played in the National Hockey League for 20 seasons and retired with 10 championship rings. 

 

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December 20, 2014

  • Saturday, December 20

    St. Margaret's Center Christmas Program, 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m., Morningside High School (Cafeteria), 10500 S. Yukon Ave, Inglewood. St. Margaret's Center, Inglewood School District, Doorking, Inc., and Centinela Hospital Medical Staff invite you to join them as they create a holiday wonderland with Christmas surprises for more than 1,000 poverty-level children and their parents. (310) 672-2208. Click here for more information.

    Christmas Shop at Holy Grounds, 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m., St. Monica Catholic Community, 725 California Ave., Santa Monica. (310) 566-1500.

    Dancing Festival of Lessons and Carols, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Holy Spirit Retreat House, 4316 Lanai Rd., Encino. A concert by Valyermo Dancers & Co., choreographed by John West. $15. Contact Sr. Deborah for more info, (818) 784-4515.

    Christmas Dinner Dance, 6 p.m., Knights of Columbus Hall, 21433 Strathern St, Canoga Park. Tickets, $28. (818) 371-0473.

    Las Posadas, 7 p.m., Parish Hall, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 600 W Mariposa St, Altadena. Posadas means “the inns” or “the shelters” in Spanish. A religious and social celebration, Las Posadas commemorates Joseph and Mary’s journey to Bethlehem and their search for shelter prior to the birth of Christ. We invite you to join us in a one-day celebration of this tradition. (626) 794-2046.

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