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Year of Mercy

Pope Francis declared this the Year of Mercy. 

Corporal Works

​Feed the Hungry
We are called to help others obtain their bodily nourishment, especially those in greatest need. Donating to a food pantry or food collections, helping others in need to buy groceries, volunteering at a food bank or soup kitchen, or helping a neighbor in need to cook are all examples of this work of mercy.

Give Drink to the Thirsty
When considering this work of mercy there are two perspectives that we can look at. The first is that many do not have access to clean water, and it is our calling to support efforts of those working towards providing others with clean water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and bathing. The second perspective is many people in our world have a thirst in their heart. At times people are in search of something to fulfill them. We are called to give them the drink of faith in Jesus Christ by introducing them to him and sharing our lives, our faith, and our joy.

Clothe the Naked
All of us have the need for clothing to provide warmth, protection, and dignity. We are called to provide support to help others in need obtain clothing. We can donate clothes and other goods and products to the Saint Vincent de Paul Society. We can volunteer to assist in these stores. We can organize a clothing drive at our parish or school.

Visit the Imprisoned
In our modern society there are many forms of prisons. Prisons that are physical. Prisons that are emotional. Prisons that hinder our freedom and are put upon us by others. No matter what the circumstance of one's prison, we are called to help prisoners, assist them, visit them, extend the love and mercy of the Lord to them, and work for their protection.

Shelter the Homeless
There are many circumstances that could lead to a person becoming homeless. We are called by Christ to meet these people, understand their circumstances, affirm their worth, and assist them in finding a solution to their circumstances. We can volunteer at a homeless shelter, donate time or money to organizations that build homes for those in need, donate blankets and other resources to homeless shelters, or work with refugees and advocate for those fleeing their homelands due to a lack of peace and security.

Visit the Sick
The sick are often forgotten, lonely, and avoided. Christ calls us to assist and visit those that suffer from illness to offer them comfort, dignity, and love. In addition to visiting the sick we can give blood, volunteer at a nursing home, offer caregivers a break, and bring food to the sick, the lonely, and the forgotten.

Bury the Dead
When someone passes from this life, we have a great opportunity to show those grieving the love, the compassion, and the mercy of God. Visiting the family, attending the funeral Mass, sending a card, being present in a time of grieving, and praying for those who have passed are all ways in which we participate in this work of mercy.








Prayer of Pope Francis for the Jubilee

Lord Jesus Christ,

you have taught us to be merciful like the heavenly Father,

and have told us that whoever sees you sees Him.

Show us your face and we will be saved.

Your loving gaze freed Zacchaeus and Matthew from being enslaved by money;

the adulteress and Magdalene from seeking happiness only in created things;

made Peter weep after his betrayal,

and assured Paradise to the repentant thief.

Let us hear, as if addressed to each one of us, the words that you spoke to the Samaritan woman:

“If you knew the gift of God!”

 

You are the visible face of the invisible Father,

of the God who manifests his power above all by forgiveness and mercy:

let the Church be your visible face in the world, its Lord risen and glorified.

You willed that your ministers would also be clothed in weakness

in order that they may feel compassion for those in ignorance and error:

let everyone who approaches them feel sought after, loved, and forgiven by God.

 

Send your Spirit and consecrate every one of us with His anointing,

so that the Jubilee of Mercy may be a year of grace from the Lord,

and your Church, with renewed enthusiasm, may bring good news to the poor,

proclaim liberty to captives and the oppressed,

and restore sight to the blind.  

 

We ask this of you, Lord Jesus, through the intercession of Mary, Mother of

Mercy; you who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and

ever.

Amen.


Spiritual Works

Admonishing the Sinner
As Catholics we are called to work towards creating a culture that does not accept and glorify sin. All of us fall at times, but it is a work of mercy to not judge others, and guide them to experience the mercy of the Lord and assist them on their journey to salvation.

Instructing the Ignorant
Evangelization, catechesis, faith formation – the church uses large words in describing this work of mercy. What it simply means is that we are called to deepen our faith in Jesus every day and then we must share Him with our family, our friends, and others.

Counseling the Doubtful
We counsel by the way we live our lives of faith – the priority and importance that Jesus and our faith in him play in our lives. We counsel when our actions show God's love. We counsel when we are asked for advice or prayers and we respond by inviting that struggling friend to Mass and the sacraments, or sharing a book or website that helped us get through a difficult time in faith, or just stopping and praying with that friend.

Comforting the Sorrowful
Be open to listening and offering support, comfort, prayers, the love of God, and the resources of the church to those who are dealing with grief, sadness, depression, anger, or a difficult time. "A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter; he who finds one finds a treasure." (Sir 6:14)

Bearing wrongs Patiently
We are called to not have bitterness about the wrongs done to us. We place our hope in our loving God to endure the consequences of another's thoughtlessness or carelessness. In faith we extend a compassionate spirit to those who have hurt us.

Forgiving Injuries
Jesus teaches us that we should forgive as God forgives. We are called to rely on him to have great love and forgiveness for one another and even for our enemies. In forgiving injuries we show others the mercy, love, and compassion of God.
 
Praying for the Living and the Dead
Prayer is one of the most powerful ways to support others. We can request mass intentions for those going through a difficult time or a friend or family member who has passed away. We can write down on a list those in need of prayers and remember them each time we pray. It is through prayer that we entrust our cares and concerns for ourselves and others to our merciful God.