Dear Passionist Family,
Pope Francis has invited the Church to celebrate an Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy that began on December 8, 2015, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary. In his homily announcing the Jubilee Year of Mercy, Pope Francis reminded us of some very basic truths: “No one can be excluded from the mercy of God; everyone knows the way to access it and the Church is the house that welcomes all and refuses no one. Its doors remain wide open, so that those who are touched by grace can find the certainty of forgiveness.” It is true: God’s mercy knows no bounds! As Passionists, we see this demonstrated in a most profound way on the Cross, where, out of sheer love and mercy, Jesus died to free us from the power of sin and death. The Year of Mercy, then, is an opportunity for the Church, in the words of Pope Francis, to “make clear its mission of being a witness to mercy.”
The announcement of a Year of Mercy couldn’t come at a better time. It seems all too obvious that the world is in great need of mercy. We know there are conflicts raging in communities in the United States and all across the world about politics, race, policing, violence, the environment, immigration and many other areas, as people try to deal with the difficult challenges facing all of us. One might think that these kinds of challenges would compel us to treat each other with more mercy, but all too often, the opposite has been true.
Mercy demonstrated in various ways. As we reflect on the many ways God has shown mercy to us, may we discover the many ways we can show mercy to one another during this Jubilee Year.
In Christ Crucified,
V. Rev. Joe Moons, C.P.
Click here to read Pope Francis’ Misericordiae Vultus, his message of Mercy for us as we begin to explore the Year of Mercy.