The Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy began on December 8, 2015 when our Holy Father, Pope Francis, pushed open the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica. If you visit the Holy Door of St. Peter’s or any Holy Door in any diocese around the world during this Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, and if you pray for the Pope’s intentions, go to Confession, and receive Communion, you will be forgiven of all temporal punishment due to sin.
To be merciful to others, we must receive mercy ourselves, and making a pilgrimage to the Holy Door in Vincennes or in Evansville and receiving grace in Confession and at Communion is the greatest way we can encounter Mercy Himself.
But what about ways we can be merciful to others? What does mercy look like?
Mercy is being home while your family is out and doing the laundry and dishes so that their burdens will be lightened when they return.
Mercy is recalling a grudge you’ve held against someone else for far too long and either seeking that person out so you might face them and say, “I forgive you,” or writing it to them in a heart-felt letter.
Mercy is giving your poorest employees a personal bonus, not for Christmas or Easter or any other occasion, but for the occasion of love.
Mercy is praying for the dead and attending the funerals of those whom you never even knew.
Mercy is visiting those in prison, or at least sending a card or letter along with those who can make a personal visit.
Mercy is going through your closet, drawers and attics to give away all the things you don’t wear any more, and maybe even giving enough clothing away that you actually notice some things are gone.
Mercy is resisting sarcasm, criticizing, condemning and complaining, and saying kind and helpful words instead.
Mercy is taking your family to the Cathedral for Mass, Confession and a visit to the Holy Door.
Mercy is keeping $5 gift cards to Subway or McDonald’s in your car or jacket-pocket to give to those begging for food while you’re traveling.
Mercy is instructing the ignorant, counseling the doubtful, admonishing sinners, bearing wrongs patiently, forgiving offenses willingly, comforting the afflicted, and praying for others.
Mercy is sometimes difficult, and sometimes very easy. But each takes a choice.
From the above list, choose one way you will be merciful this week.