This past Tuesday the trumpets blared at the doors of our church; our Holy Door, as Fr. Tim read the proclamation in unison with Pope Francis who opened the Holy Door at the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome and Bishop Kettler who opened the Holy Door at the Cathedral of St. Mary in St. Cloud. This begins for Catholics around the world a year of prayer and action devoted to being a merciful people of God. “Be merciful as your Father is merciful.” Luke 6.36 This Extra-Ordinary Jubilee Year calls each one of us to examine our lives, our attitudes and our hearts in regard to showing mercy toward one another. One might think the focus would be to ask for mercy as in asking for forgiveness, but Pope Francis challenges us to go beyond that penitential concept of mercy to become active as disciples of Jesus Christ in extending mercy to one another. We might well begin with prayer and self-examination of how we love those with whom we live, work or socialize. Then, let us honestly evaluate how we deal with people of personally, such as those we hear of in the new; however God calls us to love them as well. Mercy is defined as “loving kindness” or “to have compassion” and is rooted in God and experienced in relationship to God. Mercy is not about self, it is other-centered, calling us to be merciful as our Father is merciful. To be a people of mercy is to see Jesus Christ in every person, even those who are making poor choices or causing problems in our families, our community and our world. How can we show loving kindness to someone who is harming another, or making someone’s life miserable? It is not easy and perhaps the only thing we can do for some is to pray. Pray that God touches their heart through the loving kindness of others and helps them to see the goodness that lies within them, for they too, are made in the image and likeness of God. So how will we as parishioners of St. Francis Xavier participate in this Year of Mercy? Fr. Tim along with the parish and school staff will continue to offer insight, guidance and opportunity for all ages to grow in our understanding of how we can be a people of mercy. Together, let us challenge one another, but let us each begin in our own hearts. How and where in my life is God calling me to show mercy? This Year of Mercy logo is being used around the world throughout the next year. Watch for it here in our bulletin to find articles, prayers, suggestions, challenges and opportunities that we hope will inspire your participation in the Year of Mercy.
Have a blessed week,
He Would Love First!
October 24, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC