God Rich in Mercy (Eph 2:4) is the Pastoral Resource used by Catholics who joined Pope Francis in the second year of his “24 Hours for the Lord” initiative. This title mirrors the theme that guides meaningful reflection.
The purpose of this resource is to offer some suggestions that enable parishes and Christian communities to prepare themselves to live the Pope’s initiative during the penitential season of Lent. These suggestions may be adapted to local needs and customs, as is appropriate. (Please click on “Preview inside pages” above to become more familiar with the content of this resource.)
Pope Francis presided at a penitential celebration at St. Peter’s Basilica in order to place the Sacrament of Reconciliation at the center of the Church’s mission of the New Evangelization. On this same weekend during Lent 2015, the faithful were offered the opportunity for Confession and Eucharistic Adoration in parishes designated by Bishops in their respective dioceses. This concerted effort throughout the world highlighted mercy, and clearly has relevance for all Catholics—not only during the second year of the “24 Hours for the Lord” initiative, but well beyond.
Pope Francis on Confession:
Throughout his Pontificate, the Holy Father has spoken frequently of the importance of mercy, forgiveness, and Confession. In a General Audience in November 2013, he said, “You turn red once, you’re absolved of your sins, and you move on.”
At another General Audience in February 2014, he encouraged his flock: “Do not be afraid of Confession! … [W]hen one finishes Confession one leaves free, grand, beautiful, forgiven, candid, happy. This is the beauty of Confession! … Jesus is there, and Jesus is more benevolent than priests. Jesus receives you; He receives you with so much love. Be courageous and go to Confession!”