Well, we have come to the end of the Year of Mercy. What a joy it has been for the parish. We have had many opportunities to reflect both personally and collectively to deepen our understanding of this greatest of God’s gifts. We need to finally remember that although the special jubilee year has come to an end we have not! On the contrary, we go on from this privileged time of spiritual growth to make the world a more merciful place, this is our mission. We live in a very unforgiving world at the moment, and the gift of the merciful face of Christ revealed by us is needed as much, if not more, than ever.
When we are merciful, we put into effect three things. Firstly, we “do unto others as we wish them to do unto us”, secondly “we love God by loving our neighbor as ourselves” and thirdly through mercy we “love one another as I have loved you”. These three great commandments of love show us how to be the very face of God in the world. In a world of judgements, be they opinionated, facile, legalistic or harsh, mercy allows us to bring a sense of humanity, care and civility that is filled with hope and principle for a better future.
So where do we go from here? Do we just stop as the Holy Door closes? Well no of course not. People sometimes ask me, “What is the use of the Mass? What’s it for?” Well here you have it. The theme of mercy is woven into every Mass in the opening rites and it evolves through our encounters with Christ in the Mass to be the peace rites. So that is what we must come to appreciate more fully and apply in our daily lives. Our application of the mercy of God, that we have received firstly from him, we then apply to our world to bring it peace. Not to use this gift of mercy is to be selfish and to be judged by our selfishness. “Blessed are the merciful for they shall have mercy shown them”. Through our encounter with the merciful Word of God and nourished by God’s very self through the merciful sacrifice of Christ his Son in the Eucharist our sinfulness is overcome and we are charged with the mission of God to bring peace, the Easter message to the world. So like the Mass, the year is ended, Go in Peace.
God bless you and the week ahead,
Fr. Aidan Peter, CJ