ALEPPO – An extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, announced 13 Mar 2015 by Pope Francis during the penitential liturgy which he presided in St Peter’s, arouses reflections among the Christians in Syria, starting from the condition of anxiety and suffering they experience as we enter the fifth year of the Syrian conflict.
“Let us ask and beg God’s mercy for ourselves, for the Church here, for all our friends and fellow travelers, and also for all those who commit atrocities in the name of God: may God himself have mercy on us and them, and touch the hearts of all”.
This is what Bishop Georges Abou Khazen OFM, Apostolic Vicar of Aleppo for the Catholics of the Latin rite, says to Agenzia Fides, describing the feelings and expectations of the ‘Announcement of a Jubilee year dedicated to Mercy.’
“For all of us”, explains the Franciscan Bishop of the battered Syrian city “experiencing God’s mercy is a vital issue: only those who experience the mercy of God can then be merciful with others”. “The pain and suffering of the innocent” – adds Bishop Abou Khazen “seem absurd, and can harden the most generous hearts, to the point of becoming wicked.”
Only the miracle of mercy can heal the wounds of our souls, and produce fruits of conversion and reconciliation.
Pope Francis – the Bishop concludes – repeats that mercy is not a pastoral attitude, but is the very substance of the Gospel.” – Agenzia Fides