I’m preaching a parish mission at Good Shepherd Parish, Rheinbeck, New York, December 5-9. The theme of the mission is “Be merciful, as your Father is merciful,” the theme of the Holy Year of Mercy that Pope Francis called for last March.
The holy year begins December 8th and ends November 20, 2016, “the Sunday dedicated to Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe–and the living face of the Father’s mercy.”
Each evening, from Monday to Wednesday, I’ll be preaching on God’s mercy.
Monday: Jesus the Living Face of the Father’s Mercy. In Luke’s gospel Jesus is truly “the living face of the Father’s mercy” from his birth till his death and resurrection. His miracles and encounters with many during his lifetime, like the blind man and Zacchaeus, the tax collector, reveal his gift for changing people and bringing them joy. We experience the mercy of God in the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Penance through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Tuesday: Mary, Mother of Mercy. “Hail holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope.” God’s gift of grace enabled Mary to be what Jesus asked: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” It enabled her to embrace so many mysteries of God’s hidden plan, especially the mystery of suffering and death. We, “banished children of Eve,” cry out to her; she is “our life, our sweetness and our hope.”
Wednesday: Jesus, the Bread of Life. In his encyclical, Laudato Si, Pope Francis invites us to see in the Eucharist a call to care for the earth, our common home. “The Eucharist joins heaven and earth; it embraces and penetrates all creation. The world which came forth from God’s hands returns to him in blessed and undivided adoration: in the bread of the Eucharist, ‘creation is projected towards divinization, towards the holy wedding feast, towards unification with the Creator himself’. Thus, the Eucharist is also a source of light and motivation for our concerns for the environment, directing us to be stewards of all creation.” (LS 230)