The year of mercy is drawing to a close. I shared the following at the St. Juan Diego Knights of Columbus #15729 fall dinner.
Year of Mercy Banner at St. Juan Diego Parish
photo (c) John M. Kingery 2016
Tomorrow, the election will be over.
On November, 20th, the Jubilee Year of Mercy draws to a close. We were a called to “Be merciful as our Father is merciful”. Luke 6:36
Called to perform works of corporal mercy – (1) feeding the hungry, (2) giving drink to the thirsty, (3) dressing the naked, (4) housing pilgrims, (5) visit the sick, (6) visit the imprisoned and (7) bury the dead. Welcoming the marginalized by advising those in doubt, teaching the ignorant, admonishing the sinner and consoling the afflicted. This year was as Pope Francis wrote, “The time has come has come for the Church to take up the call for mercy once more.”
Three questions for you to reflect upon
How did you begin the Year of Mercy?
How did you live the Year of Mercy?
Have changed as you traveled through the Year of Mercy?
Beginning the Year of Mercy
Pope Francis did not open the year in Rome. He opened at the Cathedral of Bangui in Central African Republic. Mercy is for the whole world.
Let us all implore peace, mercy, reconciliation, forgiveness and love. For Bangui, for the entire Central African Republic, for the whole world, for those countries experiencing war, let us ask for peace! Now, all together, let us ask for love and peace. All together: Doyé Siriri!
My wife Ann and I began the year by attending Saturday morning Mass at St. Juan Diego on December 8th. Fr. Terry’s homily reminded us that Mary knows no borders and the God knows no borders. Later that day, I traveled to the Muslim Educational Trust for the opening of their community center. I marveled at the resolve of those attending to work for peace, understanding and reconciliation between all people.
Leaving early, I picked Ann up for the Sacrament of Reconciliation at St. Pius X. I waited, gazing at the crucifix hanging behind the altar. Christ’s arms and hands are open. “And when I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to myself.” (John 12:32) The year of Mercy was to involve pilgrimage. You could say we went on a pilgrimage that Saturday.
Starting year in this manner helped me to experience God’s mercy and share that mercy with others who were not Catholic. “May it open us to even more fervent dialogue so that we might know and understand one another better; may it eliminate every form of closed-mindedness and disrespect, and drive out every form of violence and discrimination.”
Living the Year
As the year has progressed, I have had the opportunity to pass through two doors of Mercy. The first was at the Grotto with Ann. Along with passing through that door, we went to the mediation chapel. I prayed for our country to come together to address the on-going violence.
Second, I was in Chicago attending a conference and passed through the door of Mercy at St. Xavier University. Again, I prayed for our nation. At that conference, I met Deacon Randy Clement from Louisiana. He had lost his uncle (priest), niece (God daughter) and nephew (county sheriff) due to violent robberies, domestic violence and drug busts. Through the pain, he has forgiven them.
“Be merciful as our Father is merciful”.
A month after the conference, Ann and I were involved in a head on-collision. Air bags deployed and our car was totaled. Every day since, we have prayed for the other driver that he turn from drugs, evil ways and dangerous acquaintances. He too is worthy of God’s Mercy!
Have you changed?
I am more aware when I am judging others. Mercy can be freeing. God’s mercy is limitless. Mercy and Justice come together in Love which leads to Peace. There is still work to be done. That is important to remember.
What is coming?
Año de la bandera de la Misericordia.
Photo (c) John M. Kingery 2016
In our readings, we are moving from Luke’s Sermon on the Plain where “Be merciful as our Father is merciful” is found to Matthew’s Beatitudes Sermon on the mount where to “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God.”
Along with closing out the Year of Mercy, I want to extend a personal invitation to join me on Sunday, Nov. 20, at 5:30 p.m. at the Muslim Educational Trust, 10330 S.W. Scholls Ferry Rd., in Tigard for an evening dedicated to activism and reinvigorating the beloved community.
Finally, Jesus lamented for Jerusalem – As he drew near, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If this day you only knew what makes for peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.” Luke 19:41-42
In Christ and Peace, John