On Sunday 20 November, we had the closing of the Holy Door for the Jubilee Year of Mercy. Today, as it always has been, the words and deeds of Jesus continue to guide the Church to live this journey of God’s mercy and compassion.
Even if the Holy Door closes, the true door of mercy, which is the heart of Christ, always remains open for us… God has no memory of sin, but only of us, of each of us, we who are his beloved children.
— Pope Francis, Closing Year of Mercy, Francis says ‘God has no memory of sin’
The Church has planned and organized different activities to possibly live this Jubilee Year of Mercy concretely. These initiatives have been done actively by the different committees of the Church. Everything is about God’s mercy: the priests have prepared their homilies in the celebrations of the Eucharist, highlighting Jesus’ merciful experiences; conferences and spiritual inputs during retreats and seminars have all been about how God’s mercy provides guiding points to be truly followed and lived by individuals, families, the general community, and the local and the Universal Church.
Surely in our life we experience God’s mercy and compassion and, we too in our little way, respond to His mercy towards others who are in most need. It is in His mercy that He saves us from our sinfulness because of the greatness of His love. The world we live in is continuously battling, agonizing and in sorrow because of tremendous violence, destructive natural and man made calamities, and human catastrophes. But throughout these disasters and hard times, God never leaves us. He shows His mercy and compassion by sending us generous people who touch the lives of those who are affected by any kind of suffering. These people untiringly help and share their time, talents, efforts, and their abundance in life as they give their full moral and spiritual support to those who are in most need.
To this day, we can still find good and holy people who unconditionally give their services and help without counting how much they do good for others. They spontaneously and constantly give hope to those who are hopeless. They give love to those who are brokenhearted and in need of love. They unceasingly give inspiration to those lives that are being shattered.
Sometimes we question:
- Is there still mercy?
- Does God exist in this world?
- How unfair is this life?!
But yes, God’s mercy does exist. He continues showing His mercy to us because He cannot deny us. We are His people and mercy begins in us. We are the source and the fruit of His mercy. We exist in this life out of His great mercy and love because He loves us. His immeasurable mercy is beyond everything. Even though we are often unfaithful, sinful, miserable, insensitive and weak, He still claims us to be His own people.
But now thus says the Lord,
He who created you, O Jacob,
He who formed you, O Israel:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
— Isaiah 43:1
God washes away all our pains and sufferings and He gives us hope to return among His flock. Yes, there is mercy still that restores our own dignity as children of God. Who we are to complain? We are nothing but His love for us, without any conditions, makes all the difference. We are precious to Him because He claims us to be His own. Let us continue to live in God’s mercy and compassion, starting with those who are very close to us who are most in need.
Prayer for the Jubilee Year of Mercy
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 we bring good news to the poor,
proclaim liberty to captives and the oppressed,
and restore sight to the blind.
We ask this through the intercession of Mary, Mother of Mercy,
you who live and reign with the
Father and the Holy Spirit
for ever and ever.
Image courtesy of turnbacktogod.com