Year of Mercy – Rediscovering the Merciful Father

by Fr Duncan McVicar on 14/02/2016 -

Pope Francis has declared a Jubilee Year of Mercy. This is an opportunity for us to rediscover the mercy of a loving Father-God. The Holy Father is inviting each of us to make mercy a focal point of our spirituality and our lives. Are we open for mercy? Have we been the hands and feet of God, the living embodiment of his mercy to those around us? Pope Francis has called for this special Year of Mercy because he wants us to connect on a personal level with the merciful Father in our own lives. The Holy Father says in his new book “The Name of God is Mercy”: “The message of Jesus is mercy. For me, and I say this with humility, it is the Lord’s strongest message.” The Year of Mercy, is an opportunity to rediscover who God is – the image of God that Jesus brought home to us. We have the opportunity, to opening wide our horizons about how we see our loving “Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:45). Now is the time, to rediscover God as a loving father, who knows us, cares for us and will always be faithful to us, no matter what. At the same time as we search for this new image of God that truly liberates us and fills us with confidence and inner peace, the media confront us constantly with present-day discussions and news about human rights, the rights and wrongs of abortion, euthanasia, assisted suicide, the importance of gender, how do we care for the elderly, the vulnerable or the disabled in our society. In all these questions, however individual they are and unique they are, there is always the one question in the background: “What is human dignity, and on what is human dignity based?” For us, as Christians, the Year of Mercy also poses other challenges, and invites us also to open our horizons, and try and see the world around us, the people around us and ourselves in a new and more accurate light. For instance, for many believers, it is very hard today to understand, acknowledge, and except our own limitations, weaknesses and sinfulness. In our personal spiritual lives, we too have challenging questions: “Is there someone who knows me inside out, is there someone who knows my name, who loves me, accepts me and is always willing to forgive me when I come to him? And if I discover this “Someone”, can a draw close to this person with no “masks”, acknowledging and fully accepting my weaknesses and my sins? For all these reasons, taking seriously the background of the challenges of today, it is more than worthwhile to let this Year of Mercy become the “open door” to rediscover for ourselves the Christian message of the mercy of God in our own lives. If we only consider the deepest needs of the present-day human soul, then the truths about God’s mercy and what his mercy can mean for us is the definitive answer to so many burning questions and hopes of our times. In answer to the question: Why is humanity so in need of mercy, Pope Francis writes in his book: “Because humanity is wounded, deeply wounded. Either it does not know how to cure its wounds or it believes that it’s not possible to cure them. And it’s not just a question of social ills or people wounded by poverty, social exclusion, or one of the many slaveries of the third millennium. Relativism wounds people too: all things seem equal, all things appear the same. Humanity needs mercy and compassion. Pius XII, more than half a century ago, said that the tragedy of our age was that it had lost its sense of sin, the awareness of sin. Today we add further to the tragedy by considering our illness, our sins, to be incurable, things that cannot be healed or forgiven.”


Joan says:

Brilliant Fr Duncan. I read it through. We do have a broken world. Many people have deep hurts they either feel guilty about something and can’t forgive themselves or they have been hurt. Treated badly. And need healing. They are hurting deep down inside their hearts. But there is a lot of love in the world. Jesus s waiting for us. Patiently waiting. The Holy Spirit. Is with us as well. Your words are so right Fr Duncan and Pius X11 what was wrong is now right and right now wrong and we have Judges who are corrupt. I do wonder it seems we have always whatever period of time have had problems do we ever learn. We all in need of Gods mercy We just keep trying. Be brave. Have courage Do not be afraid