The Year of Mercy that Pope Francis proclaimed last year concludes November 20, 2016.
Mercy is the most fundamental and defining attribute of God, revealed through God’s actions throughout the Old Testament and most notably, in the person of Jesus Christ in the New Testament.
Micah 7: 18-20
Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression
of the remnant of your possession?
He does not retain his his anger forever, because he delights in showing clemency.
During the Extraordinary Year of Mercy we heard the word mercy linked with Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. And for good reason—mercy is something that we need to put into action. We experience God’s mercy ourselves and then we are called to extend that mercy to others.
Questions to ponder….
- How many Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy can we name as a group?
- Which of these works of mercy have you practiced most recently?
- For whom are you called to perform works of mercy on a daily basis?
Pope Francis has urged us to spread God’s mercy to all corners of the world and also to future generations, specifically by protecting God’s creation. In his encyclical, Laudato Si’ (On Care for Our Common Home), Pope Francis makes it clear to us that protecting our environment for generations to come is an act of mercy, since God’s gift of creation was an act of mercy toward us.
Questions to ponder…
- What concrete ways have you shown mercy and compassion for God’s creation?
- What part of God’s creation are you most thankful for and do you feel most compelled to preserve and protect for future generations?
Pope Francis reminds us that the Beatitudes are the “protocol” by which the Christian life is to be lived:
The Lord will recognize us if … we recognized him in the poor, in the hungry, in the indigent and the outcast, in those who suffer and are alone … This is one of the fundamental criteria for evaluating our Christian life, which Jesus calls us to measure up to every day. I read the Beatitudes and I think of how my Christian life should be, and then I examine my conscience with this Chapter 25 of Matthew. It will do us good! They are simple but concrete things.
What is a blessing?
A blessing is a circle of light drawn around to protect a person, heal and strengthen.
Life is a constant flow of emergence.
The beauty of blessing is its belief that it can affect what unfolds… A blessing awakens future wholeness… We could say that a blessing ‘fore brightens’ the way…—JOHN O’DONOHUE,