The Sign of the Cross
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Today we hand on this statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It will travel to Our Lady & St Patricks in Maryport so that other students, teachers and staff can take part in our diocese’s celebration of the Year of Mercy.
The presence of the statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus has given us the opportunity to encounter the loving kindness of God that is offered to us all.
Pope Francis encountered this loving kindness of God as a student of 16 during confession. It was an experience that changed his life. He talked about this experience in an interview he gave when he became pope and people wanted to know more about him. The journalist asked him:
“Who is Jorge Mario Bergoglio?” (That’s the name of Pope Francis before becoming pope)
What do you think Pope Francis replied? What would you reply if someone asked you who you are? He didn’t say “I’m the pope”, “I’m an Argentinian”, “I’m a good man”
The pope replied:
“I’m a sinner. I am a sinner, but I trust in the infinite mercy and patience of our Lord Jesus Christ, and I accept in a spirit of penance.”
He didn’t say this with embarrassment, or with reluctance, or shyness.
The Pope admitted that he was a sinner as an honest and straight forward admission.
He has this freedom to admit that he is a sinner in front of all the people of the world because he knows that if he is totally honest about the things he does wrong on purpose, his wrongdoing, his sin, he will experience the loving forgiveness of God.
Pope Francis encourages us – sometimes gently, sometime forcefully – to seek the grace to make the same honest and frank admission because he knows from his personal experience as a 16 year old student that knowing and admitting that we are sinners will liberate and transform our lives. I am a sinner.
Sinners are those individuals who have the humility and self-knowledge to admit that they are weak and in need of God’s mercy and forgiveness.
There is no sin, there is no habit of sin, there is no relapse into sin, which is beyond the mercy of God. Have you got the courage and the honesty to admit you are a sinner?
Christ came from heaven as the face of God’s loving kindness for sinners. May we experience his healing presence in our lives R. Jesus, hear our prayer
We pray for the confidence and honesty to admit we’re sinners in need of God’s help. R. Jesus, hear our prayer
We pray for those who are trapped in sin, and don’t feel the need or the want, for God’s loving forgiveness. R. Jesus, hear our prayer
We pray for the students, teachers and staff who next receive the Pilgrim Year of Mercy Statue. R. Jesus, hear our prayer
Jesus, you came down from heaven to show us the loving kindness of God.
Help us trust that You wait for us
wanting us to experience your mercy and forgiveness.
Help us love others as you love us.