Yesterday, Pope Francis closed the Holy Door of Mercy at St. Peter’s Basilica marking the end to the Jubilee Year of Mercy, which began last December. He reminded us, “Even if the Holy Door closes, the true door of mercy, which is the heart of Christ, always remains open for us.”
Indeed, God’s mercy is always available to each of us. God is loving and forgiving and is waiting for us to seek His mercy. God is merciful, but we are also called to be merciful. Christ’s Church must always be a place of welcoming with a willingness to help those in need.
When we began the Jubilee year, it was remarked by many that the word “mercy” was not one that was used very often in our everyday speech, that many of us didn’t exactly know what “mercy” was or how to describe it exactly.
Pope Francis gave us a clear image of how we are to show mercy to one another when he opened the Holy Door of Mercy on December 8, 2015. He used the image of the Good Samaritan, the one who stopped at the side of the road to care for the man who was beaten and left for dead. He asked us to be merciful like the Good Samaritan.
We hope that this year, you have had opportunities to be like the Good Samaritan and helped one or more of your neighbors with their physical and material needs or their emotional and spiritual needs. And we hope that someone stopped for you and provided for your needs in some way.
Thank you for journeying with us this past year. We hope that this blog has been helpful in your coming to more deeply understand mercy in our world and in your life. Hopefully, we all now know what the word “mercy” means and, more importantly, how to express it joyfully.
Continue to be a sign of God’s mercy in this world by actively being like the Good Samaritan: feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned, burying the dead, and/or giving alms to the poor.
Be committed to being Christ for others in your world, by helping your neighbors with their emotional and spiritual needs. Using your particular gifts, find ways to instruct the unknowing, counsel the doubtful, admonish sinners, bear wrongs patiently, forgive offenses, console the afflicted, and/or pray for the living and the dead.