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Merciful like the Father

WYD welcome

Pope Francis gives a thumbs-up as he greets the crowd at the 2013 World Youth Day welcoming ceremony in Rio de Janeiro

I HAD someone ask me recently: “When will they organise a World Middle-Aged Day so that I can see the pope?”

At first we laughed about it, and then I assured this person that just because they didn’t qualify as “youth” anymore, doesn’t mean they can’t get involved with the World Youth Day story.

If there is one thing everyone can take from this upcoming World Youth Day, it is the theme of Mercy.

Pope Francis recently wrote a message to all young people about this theme of Mercy, in particular the amazing joy we experience in being instruments of God’s mercy.

He linked the Gospel Beatitudes to Matthew 25, where Jesus tells us that we will be judged on our corporal works of mercy: to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, assist the sick and visit the imprisoned.

Pope Francis also quoted Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati who said: “Jesus pays me a visit every morning in Holy Communion, and I return the visit in the meagre way I know how, visiting the poor”.

Pope Francis added that at Blessed Pier Giorgio’s funeral, his family and friends were stunned by the presence of so many people unknown to them.

They had been befriended and helped by the young Pier Giorgio.

To read Pope Francis’ whole message, head to

If you can’t make it to World Youth Day next year, allow yourself to accept Pope Francis’ invitation to enter fully into the Jubilee of Mercy, and return Jesus’ visit to you in Holy Communion by your works of mercy.

If you can make it to World Youth Day next year, we’d love to meet you. Contact us at

By Zach Woodward

Zach Woodward is Brisbane WYD pilgrimage co-ordinator.

Written by: Staff writers
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