Mercy is pivotal to the Christian identity

By: Lindsey Kettner, Relevant Radio®

The Paul VI Audience Hall at Vatican City was filled to the brim this morning for Pope Francis’s General Audience, with people also filling the atrium outside. The audience hall fits 10,000 people, but during the busiest months of the year, 30,000 to 40,000 people will attend a Wednesday audience.

The Holy Father reflected on the story of the sinful woman at the well and her actions—how it caused scandal, of course, and not only her actions, but Jesus’ actions toward her. It completely went against the attitude of the time,” says Ashley Noronha, Relevant Radio® Rome correspondent and the voice behind Relevant in Rome. “But, the Holy Father pointed out, that’s what makes us different. That’s what makes us Christians. He said the Christian identity is stamped with the stamp of mercy.”

Pope Francis spoke to the audience attendees, saying, “Christ’s death on the cross is the purchase price for the mercy that we have, and through that we are renewed or transformed and no one is rejected. And in fact this mercy is then bestowed on the world.”

The general audience was held indoors as the temperature reached over 100 degrees in Rome. At this time of the year, everyone in Rome closes down their businesses and homes and they go on vacation to escape the heat of the city. “The Holy Father said to all today: during this time of vacations let’s make sure that we’re taking a vacation with Jesus. He said, go up the mountain with Jesus and allow yourself to be transformed—your eyes, your heart, and of course to really be renewed in our hope,” says Noronha.