What are the highlights of the message of the Pope?
The bull Misericordiae Vultus can be divided into four parts:
A. Mercy: The law of the heart - When God created man, he breathed into his nostrils. An image that allows us to understand that God has placed in each of us a deep desire to pursue happiness, to seek Him who is the true source of happiness. Then God sent His Son, who revealed to us His face. Through His Word, His gestures, His attitude, Jesus revealed to us the Father's mercy. The Church, which we are, must also spread the medicine of mercy to the world by being patient, benevolent, indulgent and kind to all.
B. Mercy: A concrete idea, the pillar of the Church - God is patient and merciful. It can not be otherwise without ceasing to be God. Throughout the Bible, we discover events that demonstrate God’s patience and mercy towards His people. God loves His children with both a paternal and maternal love. It is a visceral love, a deep tenderness, compassion, and forgiveness...Jesus is also nothing but love. Everything about Him speaks of mercy. He does not lack compassion. Mercy is also the distinguishing mark of Christians. It is through mercy that God recognizes us as His children. Everything we do as a Church and as a person must be to be marked by mercy. Without mercy, the Church cannot exist. Mercy is the pillar of the Church.
C. Mercy and Forgiveness: The Church’s very credibility is seen in how she shows merciful and compassionate love. Her words and gestures must convey mercy so as to penetrate the heart of people and encourage them to find their way back to the Father. To achieve this, we must be silent and listen to God’s Word. Mary is the perfect role mode, she who listened to the Word, meditated upon it, discovered the will of God and fulfilled it.
We must see our lives as a pilgrimage, a constant call to conversion. To achieve our goal, we must allow ourselves to be enveloped by the mercy of God and in turn we must become merciful, avoiding judgment through the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.
D. Mercy and Justicie: ...to break through the dimensions of space and time, inserting everything into the eternal mystery of love. Mercy is written on the heart, whereas justice comes from the head. Jesus asks us to go beyond the strict requirements of the law, to see further, through the eyes of our heart as He always has. Mercy is not contrary to justice, but it illustrates how God treats the sinner, offering him a new opportunity to repent, to convert, to believe. Justice and mercy go beyond the borders of the Church, they invite us to enter into dialogue with the Jewish people, the first to have been chosen to become the people of God, with Muslims for whom God is called Merciful, Compassionate, with all people who seek the truth.