YEAR OF MERCY
December 8, 2015 -November 26, 2016
Mercy is a theme very dear to Pope Francis. It is expressed in the Episcopal motto he chose: “miserando atque eligendo,” “Because he saw him through the eyes of mercy and chose him.” Pope Francis proclaimed an extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy (December 8, 2015 -November 26, 2016) as a special time for the Church to witness and share mercy. In his 2015 Lenten Message, the Holy Father expressed: “How greatly I desire that all those places where the Church is present, especially our parishes and our communities, may become islands of mercy in the midst of the sea of indifference!”
Jubilee Year of Mercy - April 3, 2016
Second Sunday of Easter or Sunday of Divine Mercy
Last year on this Sunday, Pope Francis declared this year a Jubilee Year of Mercy. Saint John Paul II named the Second Sunday of Easter “Sunday of Divine Mercy” in response to Saint Faustina Kowalska’s Divine Mercy devotion, which offered spiritual comfort to hearts worldwide. But Francis challenges us to make that comfort we receive a gift we gladly share: “We are called to show mercy because mercy has first been shown to us.” The clearest expression of merciful love, says Francis, is pardoning others. “At times how hard it seems to forgive!” he acknowledges. “And yet pardon is the instrument placed into our fragile hands to attain serenity of heart” (Misericordiae Vultus, 9). The necessary condition for living joyfully? “To let go of anger, wrath, violence, and revenge.” May Divine Mercy Sunday in this Jubilee Year of Mercy remind us that Jesus made mercy our life’s ideal and a criterion for our faith’s credibility: “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy” (Matthew 5:7).
—Peter Scagnelli, Copyright © J. S. Paluch Co., Inc.Papal quotes Copyright © 2015, Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Used with permission.