Finding Mercy this Lent [Free Journal Article]

Finding Mercy this Lent [Free Journal Article]

Lent has this tendency to surprise me.  It seems to just come out of nowhere.  And with little less than a week away from Ash Wednesday, I find myself in the same situation.  

Each year I embark on Lent as some great adventure that will help me encounter God in new and surprising ways.  As I'm still discerning what practices to take on this Lent, the theme of mercy has piqued my interest.  With all the lively buzz around the Jubilee Year of Mercy, I want this Lent to reflect this important time.  Not that mercy isn't important during other times of the year, but this Jubilee Year is an important reminder of the challenge of being a Christian.  It's about giving and loving when it's inconvenient.  It's about not counting the cost in serving others.  It's about recognizing Jesus in every person we meet.

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Mercy Me! There’s a Jubilee coming. [Free Faith Festival Session]

Mercy Me! There’s a Jubilee coming. [Free Faith Festival Session]

Photo by Leticia Bertin on Flickr

If ever there was an opportunity for us to celebrate and be grateful for God’s mercy and compassion and forgiveness, it’s now. Carpe diem! Seize the day! Since Pope Francis announced a Jubilee Year of Mercy beginning December 8th on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and ending on November 20th of 2016, we’ve probably all been thinking about how we can weave the theme of mercy into our evangelization and catechesis. But before we get there, maybe there’s a preliminary step!

I think the first thing I need to keep in mind is to not create ways I can use the Jubilee Year of Mercy in my ministry. (That will come later.) I believe Pope Francis is calling me to show mercy myself. I have the audacity to pray the Lord’s Prayer every day. Sometimes I don’t pay attention to the fact that I am asking God to forgive me only to the degree I forgive others. No more, no less. It’s a scary thought. I am certain I’d rather be judged by God than by me. So perhaps the best way I can enter into the Year of Mercy is to become a person of mercy, to forgive, to offer mercy when I really want justice, and to have a more compassionate heart. What do you think?

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