Monday, October 5, 2015

Year Of Mercy

Pope Francis has dominated the news media for the last few weeks and as we approach December - it is important that we reflect on the Holy Year of Mercy - declared back in March. In an article published by The Catholic Herald from the U.K we read

"More than a dozen individual celebrations will be scheduled for the Jubilee of Mercy in 2016, giving pilgrims the chance to celebrate their own holy year with Pope Francis in Rome. Consecrated men and women; deacons; priests; catechists; the sick and disabled; teenagers and prisoners have specific days on the calendar set out for them. Young people will be able to celebrate their jubilee with the Pope at World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland. The Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization , which is organizing events for the Holy Year of Mercy, published a full calendar of events online. The Holy Year is meant to be lived as a pilgrimage, people taking part are asked to prepare themselves with prayer and sacrifice, and make a portion of the journey on foot. Efforts also will be made to offer concrete signs of God’s love and mercy by offering tangible assistance to those in need, and bishops and priests around the world are asked to conduct “similar symbolic gestures of communion with Pope Francis” in their dioceses by reaching out to those on the margins. The motto, “Merciful Like the Father,” is an invitation to follow the merciful example of God, who asks people not to judge or condemn but to forgive and to give love, the council said. One way the pope wants to show the church’s “maternal solicitude” is to send out “missionaries of mercy” that is, specially selected priests who will preach and teach about God’s mercy. They will be given special authority, the pope said, “to pardon even those sins reserved to the Holy See.”  The following is a list of some of the major events planned in Rome for the jubilee year:

• Opening of the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica, December 8, feast of the Immaculate Conception.
• Opening of the Holy Door of the Basilica of St. John Lateran and in the cathedrals of the world, December 13.
• Opening of the Holy Door of the Basilica of St. Mary Major, January 1, feast of Mary, the Holy Mother of God and World Day for Peace.
• Jubilee for those involved with guiding or organising pilgrimages and religious tourism, January 19 – January 21.
• Opening of the Holy Door of the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, January 25, feast of the Conversion of St. Paul.
• Jubilee for Consecrated Life and the closing of the Year for Consecrated Life, February 2, feast of the Presentation of the Lord.
• Sending forth the Missionaries of Mercy, St. Peter’s Basilica, February 10, Ash Wednesday.
• Jubilee for the Roman Curia, February 22, feast of the Chair of St. Peter.
• “24 Hours for the Lord” with a penitential liturgy in St. Peter’s Basilica, March 4th.
• Jubilee for those who are devoted to the spirituality of Divine Mercy, April 3, Divine Mercy Sunday.
• Jubilee for teens aged 13 to 16 to profess the faith and construct a culture of mercy, April 24.
• Jubilee for deacons, May 27-29, the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ.
• Jubilee for priests, June 3, feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
• Jubilee for those who are ill and for persons with disabilities, June 12.
• Jubilee for youth, July 26-31, World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland.
• Jubilee for workers and volunteers of mercy, September 4, the vigil of the memorial of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.
• Jubilee for catechists, September 25.
• Marian Jubilee, October 8-9.
• Mass celebrated by Pope Francis in memory of the faithful departed, Nov. 1, feast of All Saints.
• Jubilee for prisoners, November 6.
• Closing of the Holy Doors in the basilicas of Rome and in the dioceses of the world, November 13.
• Closing of the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica and the conclusion of the Jubilee of Mercy, November 20, feast of Christ the King.

God's Divine Mercy is present in the world constantly - this is not a once in a lifetime event - rather a reality of His awesome Mercy. Participating in special prayers - act of kindness - mercy - traveling on a pilgrimage - all afford everyone an opportunity to go deeper into their relationship with God - deeper into the mystery that is His Divine Mercy.

Deacon Dale