There's much excitement and anticipation for the upcoming Jubilee Year of Mercy. The Holy Father will begin the Jubilee Year by opening the Holy Doors on December 8, 2015. With lots happening around us, be sure to set some time aside to discern how we will personally live out this Year of Mercy.
If you haven't given it much though yet, let me share a particular inspiration I found. It's from Pope Francis' message for World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow. He wrote:
I always like to link the Gospel Beatitudes with Matthew 25, where Jesus presents us with the works of mercy and tells us that we will be judged on them. I ask you, then, to rediscover the corporal works of mercy: to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, assist the sick, visit the imprisoned and bury the dead. Nor should we overlook the spiritual works of mercy: to counsel the doubtful, teach the ignorant, admonish sinners, comfort the sorrowful, forgive offences, patiently bear with troublesome people and pray to God for the living and the dead. As you can see, mercy does not just imply being a “good person” nor is it mere sentimentality. It is the measure of our authenticity as disciples of Jesus, and of our credibility as Christians in today’s world. If you want me to be very specific, I would suggest that for the first seven months of 2016 you choose a corporal and a spiritual work of mercy to practice each month.
It's the Holy Father's specific invitation to choose seven corporal works and spiritual works of mercy in preparation for World Youth Day that resonated with me. I think it's a wonderful idea that is both challenging and inspiring.
Take some time before we start the new year to decide which spiritual and corporal works of mercy you will be focusing on each month. It will surely be a special time of renewal and personal growth for all of us as we seek to encounter and present Jesus this year through mercy.