On Tuesday, December 8th, 2015,
the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Pope Francis solemnly inaugurated the Jubilee Year of Mercy with the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
During his Homely (you can click on this link to read the entire homely) Pope Francis said: "the history of sin can only be understood in the light of God’s love and forgiveness. Were sin the only thing that mattered, we would be the most desperate of creatures. But the promised triumph of Christ’s love enfolds everything in the Father’s mercy. The word of God which we have just heard leaves no doubt about this. The Immaculate Virgin stands before us as a privileged witness of this promise and its fulfilment.
This Extraordinary Holy Year is itself a gift of grace. To pass through the Holy Door means to rediscover the infinite mercy of the Father who welcomes everyone and goes out personally to encounter each of them. He the one who seeks us! He is the one who comes to meet us! This will be a year in which we grow ever more convinced of God’s mercy.
We have to put mercy before judgment, and in any event God’s judgement will always be in the light of his mercy.
In passing through the Holy Door, then, may we feel that we ourselves are part of this mystery of love. Let us set aside all fear and dread, for these do not befit men and women who are loved. Instead, let us experience the joy of encountering that grace which transforms all things.
…encountering people where they live: in their cities and homes, in their workplaces. Wherever there are people, the Church is called to reach out to them and to bring the joy of the Gospel… The Jubilee challenges us to this openness, and demands that we not neglect the spirit which emerged from Vatican II, the spirit of the Samaritan, as Blessed Paul VI expressed it at the conclusion of the Council. May our passing through the Holy Door today commit us to making our own the mercy of the Good Samaritan."