Commentary of the Day

“This is the Messiah.”
by Saint John-Paul II, Pope from 1978 to 2005

The true and proper meaning of mercy does not consist only in looking, however penetratingly and compassionately, at... evil: mercy is manifested... when it... draws good from all the forms of evil existing in the world and in man. Understood in this way, mercy constitutes the fundamental content of the messianic message of Christ... [This] message of Christ and His activity among people end with the cross and resurrection... the divine dimension of the redemption uncovers the depth of that love which does not recoil before the extraordinary sacrifice of the Son, in order to satisfy the fidelity of the Creator and Father towards human beings...The events of Good Friday and, even before that, in prayer in Gethsemane, introduce a fundamental change into the whole course of the revelation of love and mercy in the messianic mission of Christ. The one who "went about doing good and healing" and "curing every sickness and disease" (Acts 10:38; Mt 9:35) now Himself seems to merit the greatest mercy and to appeal for mercy, when He is arrested, abused, condemned, scourged, crowned with thorns, when He is nailed to the cross and dies amidst agonizing torments. It is then that He particularly deserves mercy from the people to whom He has done good, and He does not receive it. Even those who are closest to Him cannot protect Him and snatch Him from the hands of His oppressors. At this final stage of His messianic activity the words which the prophets, especially Isaiah, uttered concerning the Servant of Yahweh are fulfilled in Christ: "Through his stripes we are healed” (53:5)...For our sake God made him to be sin who knew no sin," St. Paul will write (2Cor 5:21), summing up in a few words the whole depth of the cross and at the same time the divine dimension of the reality of the Redemption. Indeed this Redemption is the ultimate and definitive revelation of the holiness of God, who is the absolute fullness of perfection.

From: Encyclical “ Dives in misericordia ”, 6-7 (trans. © Libreria Editrice Vaticana)