COMING HOLY YEAR OF MERCY. Pope Francis wants us to know Christ Jesus. He notes that “the mission that Jesus received from the Father was that of revealing the mystery of divine love in its fullness.” Jesus makes this love visible and tangible in his entire life, revealed to us in the Gospels. His whole person is love given gratuitously to each of us. The relationship he forms with those who approach him is entirely unique and unrepeatable. Everything in Jesus speaks of mercy. The signs he works with sinners, the poor, the sick, and the suffering are all meant to teach mercy. Jesus presents mercy as a force that overcomes everything, filling the heart with love and bringing consolation through forgiveness. He affirms that mercy is not only an action of the Father, but it is a criterion for ascertaining who his true children are. We are to show mercy because mercy has first been shown to us.
Pope Francis reminds us that “Mercy is the very foundation of the Church’s life. He notes that the practice of mercy is waning in our wider culture. We seem to have forgotten how to show and live the way of mercy. Without a witness to mercy, life becomes fruitless and sterile like a barren desert. Pope Francis is telling us that it is time for we Catholics to take up the joyful call of mercy again. That it is time for us to return to the basics and to bear the weaknesses and struggles of our brothers and sisters. The Pope has declared that mercy is the force that reawakens us to new life and instills in us the courage to look to the future with hope. In the new evangelization, the theme of mercy needs to be proposed again and again with new enthusiasm and action on our part. We as Catholics need to live and testify to mercy in our daily lives.
Prayer of Pope Francis for the Jubilee
Lord Jesus Christ,you have taught us to be merciful like the heavenly Father,and have told us that whoever sees you sees Him.Show us your face and we will be saved. Your loving gaze freed Zacchaeus and Matthew from being enslaved by money; the adulteress and Magdalene from seeking happiness only in created things; made Peter weep after his betrayal, and assured Paradise to the repentant thief. Let us hear, as if addressed to each one of us, the words that you spoke to the Samaritan woman: “If you knew the gift of God!” You are the visible face of the invisible Father, of the God who manifests his power above all by forgiveness and mercy: let the Church be your visible face in the world, its Lord risen and glorified. You willed that your ministers would also be clothed in weakness in order that they may feel compassion for those in ignorance and error: let everyone who approaches them feel sought after, loved, and forgiven by God. Send your Spirit and consecrate every one of us with its anointing, so that the Jubilee of Mercy may be a year of grace from the Lord, and your Church, with renewed enthusiasm, may bring good news to the poor, proclaim liberty to captives and the oppressed, and restore sight to the blind. We ask this of you, Lord Jesus, through the intercession of Mary, Mother of Mercy; you who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever.