Listen to the suffering

Throughout his pontificate, Pope Francis has encouraged parishes to be an “oasis of mercy,” and to be missionary: looking out to all sorts of suffering people both in the local community as well as in the wider world, as both are linked.  We are challenged to reach out to people with the message of Christ, listening to the suffering, from our conviction that the message we deliver is the mercy of God.

This is the outreach of the Trinity to the world. The mercy of God hears the needs of millions for food and shelter, and the cries of the refugees on seas far away and in houses up the road. Can we also feel compassion, looking on others with love? For the Holy Trinity looks upon humanity with love and compassion! Like God, can we hear the suffering of others? Our prayer should open our hearts to the suffering and to be merciful to them, for mercy, according to Pope Francis, is the “heartbeat of the Gospel.”

Fr. Donal Neary, SJ
Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (Ireland)