Beginning of the Holy Year of Mercy
Let us be renewed by God’s mercy, let us be loved by Jesus, let us enable
the power of his love to transform our lives too; and let us become agents of this mercy, channels through which God can water the earth, protect all creation and make justice and peace flourish.
The Year of Mercy will begin today, December 8, 2015 the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, and the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council. It will end on November 20, 2016, on the feast of Christ the King. The biblical theme the Pope has chosen for the jubilee year is “be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
“This is the opportune moment to change our lives!” the Pope wrote. “This is the time to allow our hearts to be touched! When confronted with evil deeds, even in the face of serious crimes, it is the time to listen to the cry of innocent people who are deprived of their property, their dignity, their feelings, and even their very lives.”
The Pope continued: “It will be a way to reawaken our conscience, too often grown dull in the face of poverty. And let us enter more deeply into the heart of the Gospel where the poor have a special experience of God’s mercy… Let us rediscover these corporal works of mercy: to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, heal the sick, visit the imprisoned, and bury the dead. And let us not forget the spiritual works of mercy: to counsel the doubtful, instruct the ignorant, admonish sinners, comfort the afflicted, forgive offences, bear patiently those who do us ill, and pray for the living and the dead.”
The Holy Year of Mercy will be an opportunity to encourage Christians to meet people’s “real needs” with concrete assistance, to experience a “true pilgrimage” on foot, and to send “missionaries of mercy” throughout the world to forgive even the most serious of sins.
Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy.
Reflect on the meaning of mercy. How can you make mercy a reality in your life beginning with mercy toward yourself?
Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”
Living mercy means forgiveness real mercy means acceptance, God-like mercy means unconditional love.
Meditations for the Year of Mercy, the Franciscans
A little bit of mercy makes the world less cold and more just.
Nothing graces the Christian soul so much as mercy; mercy as shown chiefly towards the poor, that thou mayest treat them as sharers in common with thee in the produce of nature, which brings forth the fruits of the earth for use to all.
How can we teach the love of God if our own hearts are cold?
I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.
God’s mercy is fresh and new every morning.
Teach me to feel another’s woe, to hide the fault I see, that mercy I to others show, that mercy show to me.
God’s mercy and grace give me hope – for myself, and for our world.
Together with the Works of Mercy, feeding, clothing and sheltering our brothers, we must indoctrinate.
The essence of justice is mercy.
Edwin Hubbel Chapin