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Mercy toward others implies taking risks, suffering

June 8, 2017
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY – Being merciful toward others means not only sharing in their pain but also taking risks for them, Pope Francis said June 5 in his homily during morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

“Think about here in Rome in the midst of war. How many, beginning with Pius XII, took risks to hide Jews so that they wouldn’t be killed, so that they wouldn’t be deported! They risked their skin! But it was a work of mercy to save the lives of those people!” he said.

The pope’s homily focused on the day’s first reading, from the Book of Tobit, which tells how the author, one of many Israelites in exile, mourns the death of an unknown kinsman who was murdered and buries him, an act forbidden at the time in Assyria. A work of mercy, like the one performed by Tobit, isn’t just a “good deed so that I can be calmer, so that I can take a weight off,” but it is a way of “sympathizing with the pain of others,” the pope said.

“Sharing and sympathizing go together,” he said.


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