Jubilee Year of Mercy

1430832550293Pope Francis has called for a Jubilee Year to celebrate one of the most important parts of our identity and faith–that our God and Father is Merciful; imitating God’s mercy is at the heart of being a Christian, Catholic disciple of Jesus. It is the pope’s hope for this year that we pause to reflect on the Mercy of God both in scripture and in our own experiences so that we might change our ways to be sources of mercy to others. It is through our lives that those in need encounter the face of Jesus, who is the perfect revelation of God’s mercy to the world.

What is this about?
Here are some resources, beginning with the official website to learn about the year of mercy:

www.im.va – The official Website of the Year of Mercy with news, prayers, examples from the Holy Father. Pope Francis will be doing concrete acts each month to provide us with examples of how we might live out the call to “be merciful as our heavenly Father is merciful.”

www.osv.com – The United States publisher Our Sunday Visitor has a series of 8 books promulgated by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, which are the official catechetical resources for the Jubilee Year of Mercy.

How can I pray/live differently to respond with an open heart to the holy Father’s invitation?

www.usccb.org – The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops website page on the Year of Mercy renews the call to practice the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, with many provided resources for Faith, Prayer and Action to help you move into a more merciful way of living.

csl-logowww.wearesaltandlight.org – The Bishop’s website resource for doing the work of the church ‘together.’ Discover and share with other Catholics the mission of being a Christian disciple of Jesus. This site will help you to find others with whom to journey while seeking to embrace prayer practices, good works and a new attitude of faith based in mercy.

How can I live out mercy in my day to day life?

We must learn mercy, that is, we must learn to recognize the merciful acts of God in our lives and do the same unto others. Reflection on the Word is the first place to begin. Give yourself some quiet time alone with sacred scriptures. Then we must make real changes in our daily patterns of life. “How can we show others the mercy of God? We say that God is compassionate, but we ignore the poor. We say that God loves us and has mercy on us, but we hold grudges against our friends. Our actions need to authentically reflect God’s mercy.” – USCCB   Consider some of the following reflection tools to help you embrace the ordinary, every-day ways of being merciful.

The Second Chance Act is one way you could volunteer, supporting in a practical way the work of God’s mercy in our own community.

www.Povertyusa.org is an important resource for learning about the struggles of others in our community and nation. This website also provides resources for prayer and action to help make a difference in the lives of others, being the face of Jesus for those in need.

mercyDownload the free “365 Days to Mercy” app from OSV on either the app store (apple) or the play store (android) for daily reflections on mercy, daily scriptures reflections, book excepts, year of mercy resources, Pope Francis’ tweets, Year of Mercy news stories, Divine Mercy Chaplet/Novena, and other resources at your finger tips.

Look for more resources and opportunities in the parish, particularly to pray in gratitude for God’s mercy at work in our lives, and to respond with gratitude through service to those in need in our community.

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!”

vatican-popeYou 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.
Amen.