In his homily on Good Friday, Father RANIERO CANTALAMESSA, Pontifical Preacher, had a very important passage on mercy in the family. There too, in a certain way, just as between peoples throughout the world, a transition must take place, from man‘s desire for revenge to Jesus‘ answer on the cross. Here is that passage of the meditation.
It has been said that "the world will be saved by beauty" (Dostoyevsky, The Idiot, Part III, Chapter Five); but beauty can also lead to ruin. There is only one thing that can really save the world: mercy! The mercy of God for men and of men for one another. It can save, in particular, the most precious and fragile thing there is, at this time, in the world: marriage and family. In marriage something similar to what happened in the relationship between God and mankind occurs; the Bible describes it, precisely, with the image of a betrothal. At the very beginning—I said—there is love, not mercy. Mercy only comes after man‘s sin. Likewise, in marriage, at the beginning there is no mercy, but love. People do not get married for mercy, but for love. Yet, after years or months of common life, the mutual limits appear as well as health problems, financial problems, and problems with the children; routine finally snuffs out all the joy. What can keep a marriage from slipping down a hill without a lift is mercy, understood in the fullest sense of the Bible, that is, not only as a mutual forgiveness, but "clothing in tenderness, kindness, humility, meekness and patience "(Colossians 3:12). Mercy means that agape has been added to eros, the love of giving and compassion to the love of the quest. God "takes pity" on man (Psalm 102:13): the husband and the wife should they not have pity for one another? And should not we, who live in community, have pity on one another instead of judging each other? Let us pray. Heavenly Father, through the merits of your Son who for us "became sin" on the cross, take from the heart of individuals, families and peoples, the desire for revenge. Make the intention of the Holy Father, in proclaiming this Holy Year of Mercy, find a concrete answer in our hearts and make all experience the joy of reconciliation with you in the depth of their hearts. Amen!