In addition to his weekly Wednesday general audiences, the Pope chose to hold an extra audience once a month on a Saturday as a special initiative for the Jubilee. In his address, Francis continued his reflections on the topic of mercy as understood through scripture, this week focusing on God's commitment to humanity in sending Jesus.
He said that committing oneself to something means to "assume a responsibility, a task toward someone; and it also means the style, the attitude of fidelity and dedication, of special attention with which we carry forward this task."
Each day we are asked to commit ourselves in the simple things we do, such as prayer, work and study, as well as in sports or free time, he said. "To commit ourselves, then, means to put our good will and our efforts to improve life," Francis said, noting that God is also committed to us.
God's first commitment to humanity was when he created the world and dedicated himself to keeping it alive "despite our efforts to ruin it – and there are many." But God's greatest commitment, he said, was when he gave us Jesus.
"Jesus is truly the extreme commitment that God has made toward us…this is the greatest commitment of God," he said, adding that along with Jesus, "the Father will give us everything we need."
Seeing this commitment in action is easy if we read the Gospel, which tells us how through Jesus, God totally committed himself to restoring hope to the poor and those deprived of their dignity, as well as to strangers, the sick, prisoners and sinners, he said.