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Artisans of Mercy

artisan_potterSome 25,000 people attended Pope Francis’s general audience in St. Peter’s Square a few days after the canonization of Saint Teresa of Kolkata.
Before delivering his final blessing, the pope called on young people to follow her example and be “artisans of mercy.”
Why did he use the example of an artisan to illustrate his call for us to do God’s missionary work through “an authentic evangelic path?”
An artisan is a worker in a trade that demands special skills, especially work that involves producing useful things by hand.
Both Jesus and his earthly father, Joseph, labored as skilled carpenters. Using handheld tools, they shaped wood for new uses and, therefore, could be called artisans.
Men and women today create false images of God, the pope said. They often think of him as a “psychological refuge” that provides comfort during difficult times. Or they reduce Jesus to just another teacher of ethics.
These erroneous perceptions “cancel out his missionary impulse that is capable of transforming the world and history.”
Christians, Francis said, believe in the God of Jesus Christ, who wants us “to grow in the living experience of his mystery of love.”
Our prayer today:

Lord Jesus,
grant us the gift of great faith
so that we can become signs and instruments of your mercy.

Peter W. Yaremko, a former journalist, is the owner of Executive Media, Inc. and is a specialist in executive communications. He attends St. Peter the Apostle Church in Provincetown, Massachusetts and blogs at

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