a very good year

The mercy of God is poured out upon us, making us just and giving us peace. This is a time for the Church to rediscover the meaning of the mission entrusted to her by the Lord on the day of Easter: to be a sign and an instrument of the Father’s mercy.” — Pope Francis

The pope has announced a Jubilee Year of Mercy to encourage the faithful to “welcome the numerous signs of the tenderness which God offers to the whole world.” He said that these signs of God’s tenderness are especially offered to the suffering, the alone, the abandoned and those “without hope of being pardoned or feeling the Father’s love.” 

A Jubilee Year holds special significance in Catholic tradition as a time of joy, remission, or universal pardon. The “year” will begin Dec. 8, 2015, the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, and conclude on the feast of Christ the King, Nov. 20, 2016. About a year intended to be a deliberate and joyous celebration of mercy, the pope has said he is “convinced that the whole church will find in this jubilee the joy needed to rediscover and make fruitful the mercy of God, with which all of us are called to give consolation to every man and woman of our time.”

That’s a lofty goal — to extend mercy to every man and woman. We begin at home, because often it is most difficult to extend genuine mercy within our four walls. Please read the rest here.