Pope Benedict XVI: Mercy as the central nucleus of the gospel message

People often see the Church simply as a religious organization that is lead by the Pope. But Benedict XVI further sheds light on its main functions during a Sunday Angelus in March of 2008. That is, through many ways such as in preaching, institution of the sacraments, and other charitable virtues, the Church dispenses the mercy of God to the world.

Mercy is in truth the central nucleus of the gospel message; it is the name itself of God, the face with which He has revealed himself in the Old Testament and fully in Jesus Christ, the incarnation of creating and redeeming Love. This merciful love illumines even the face of the Church, and it is manifested both by means of the Sacraments, in particular that of Reconciliation, and by the works of charity, whether communitarian or individual. All that the Church says and does manifests the mercy that God nourishes for man.

-Pope Benedict XVI on Mar 30, 2008

The world needs the mercy of God and He has made it readily available through the movements of His church. And when we talk about the Church in this context, we’re not just talking about the clergy, but we’re also including the lay people. According to Pope Benedict XVI, God’s mercy which is the central nucleus of the gospel message is fully revealed in Jesus himself. Which means mercy abounds within the very essence of Jesus. And if we call the church as the “mystical body of Christ”, then we could definitely say that mercy abounds in our church as mercy abounds in Christ’s essence.

We are not Christ, but we are in Christ – his body. And if we are members of this body, we can in a way say that mercy is like the skin of this body. The skin that holds everything together and protects us who are in Him. At the same time, mercy is also like the nourishment needed for these members of the body to function properly. Everybody needs the mercy God, and in this body of Jesus, it is being distributed in such a dynamic way that it shows itself in the Sacraments made available to us by His priests. And also shown through the good actions of his faithful towards each other.