The Year of Mercy is upon us!
The Jubilee year goes back to the Old Testament when:
1The Lord said to Moses on Mount Sinai, 2 Say to the people of Israel, When you come into the land which I give you, the land shall keep a Sabbath to the Lord. 3 Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather in its fruits; 4 but in the seventh year there shall be a Sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a Sabbath to the Lord; (Lev 25:1-13)
The seventh year was a year consecrated to God; it was a year were all debts where forgiven, all slaves were freed, and where God’s mercy and providence abounded.
Pope Francis has declared this new Liturgical year as the Year of Mercy starting on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. Typically the Jubilee Year takes place every 25 years (which would have placed the next Jubilee Year in 2025), however the Pope can proclaim a Jubilee whenever he feels there is need. During this year the Holy Doors at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome will be opened (doors which are usually cemented shut and are only opened during the Jubilee Year). These Doors of Mercy will be opened at Basilica’s around the world for pilgrims to walk through as a sign of crossing from sin to grace.
Mercy flows from the side of Christ crucified as blood and water. When we repent of our sins and turn to Christ we can rest in confidence for His mercy is never ceasing. This is a year to reflect on the Mercy of Christ, to drink from the flow of mercy, and to share God’s mercy with others.
Some ways in which we can partake in the mercy of God is through the forming of our Relationship with Him. By praying and seeking conversation with God, contemplation, Mass, Confession, spiritual reading, mediations on God’s mercy, and through many other means we can grow closer to Christ during this year. In growing closer to the stream of mercy flowing from Christ we are able to know Him who loves us with an unfailing love.
Through the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy we can share God’s mercy with the people we encounter each day. We can truly be the hands and feet of Christ bringing His mercy to all His children.
The Spiritual Works of Mercy are:
- To instruct the ignorant;
- To counsel the doubtful;
- To admonish sinners;
- To bear wrongs patiently;
- To forgive offences willingly;
- To comfort the afflicted;
- To pray for the living and the dead.
The Corporal Works of Mercy are:
- To feed the hungry;
- To give drink to the thirsty;
- To clothe the naked;
- To shelter the homeless;
- To visit the sick;
- To ransom the captive;
- To bury the dead.
I pray that each of you delves into God’s mercy this year, may you grow ever closer to Christ, and may God work through your hands to ring mercy to all. Amen.
Happy Jubliee!Tags » Catholic Church, catholicism, church, faith, forgiveness, God, history, Immaculate Conception, Laity, love, mercy