Don’t you just love it when God keeps reminding us of something everywhere we turn. Yesterday the Holy Father announced an extraordinary holy year, a Jubilee Year of Mercy. This morning during the Office of Readings we couldn’t help but smile at the second reading from St. Gregory of Nazianzen, which was all about mercy:
The Lord of all asks for mercy, not sacrifice, and mercy is greater than myriads of fattened lambs. Let us then show him mercy in the persons of the poor and those who today are lying on the ground, so that when we come to leave this world they may receive us into everlasting dwelling places, in Christ our Lord himself, to whom be glory for ever and ever.
And then the Gospel at Mass confirmed it again as we heard the publican’s humble prayer “God, be merciful to me, a sinner.”
The holy year will be organized by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization because, the Holy Father says, it is the mission of the Church to bring everyone to the Gospel of Mercy. Truly, to encounter Mercy is to encounter Christ, Who is Mercy itself. The devil lies to us, telling us that our mistakes and the sins we have committed throughout our lives have the final word. The truth is Christ has the final word, and it is a word of mercy – if we are willing to accept it and turn from sin.
But how can we tell others of the renewing power of God’s mercy if we ourselves haven’t experienced it? We can’t. Everyone’s life has been touched by the merciful love of God, Continue reading
“Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising” (Is 60:1-3).
Today I planned on sharing what Pope Francis had to say today about the Epiphany, and the I realized that he hasn’t said anything about it because in Rome it’s celebrated on the traditional date of January 6th, the twelfth day after Christmas. So this forced me to come up with some semi-original thoughts, something which, I’m sorry to admit, I was trying to Continue reading
The four last things: death, judgment, heaven, and hell. Not exactly popular topics of conversation, but during Advent the Church calls us to take a deep look at these four realities, and to look within our own souls. Are we ready for death? Are we prepared to be judged by God after death? Where will our life choices leave us after our judgment?
In a recent homily we were reminded that on our tombstone will be two dates: our date of birth and our date of death, and between those dates will be a dash (-), indicating our life. It’s just a short line, but it’s what matters the most, because what we do in that dash determines where we spend eternity.
As a community we are reading Sacred Story, by Fr. William Watson, SJ. He calls it “an Ignatian examen for the third millenium.” Hearing that little description of our life as a dash reminded me of something I read in Sacred Story, that we live a very compartmentalized life, easily forgetting that what we do in the here and now impacts where we will be in the after life: Continue reading