COMMUNICATIONS from the Bishop

No. 852         Diocese of Marbel, Philippines                                                  6 January 2016

MISERICORDIAE VULTUS (FEATURE)

Pope Francis wrote the Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy “Misericordiae Vultus” (Face of Mercy) on 11 April 2015, the Vigil of the 2nd Sunday of Easter – Sunday of Divine Mercy.

Selected passages:

  1. “Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s Mercy. These words might well sum up the mystery of the Christian faith.  Mercy has become living and visible in Jesus of Nazareth, reaching its culmination in him.”
  2. “We need constantly to contemplate the mystery of mercy. It is a well spring of joy, serenity and peace.  Our salvation depends on it.  Mercy: the ultimate and supreme act by which God comes to meet us.  Mercy: the fundamental law that dwells in the heart of every person who looks sincerely into the eyes of his brothers and sisters on the path of life.  Mercy: the bridge that connects God and man, opening our hearts to the hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness.”
  3. “At times we are called to gaze even more attentively on mercy so that we may become a more effective sign of the Father’s action in our lives. For this reason I have proclaimed an Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy as a special time for the Church, a time when the witness of believers might grow stronger and more effective.”

“The Holy Year will open on 8 December 2015.” (3) “the fiftieth anniversary of the closing of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council.” (4)

4. “The Jubilee Year will close with the liturgical Solemnity of Christ the King on 20 November 2016.”

5. “It is proper to God to exercise mercy, and he manifests his omnipotence particularly in this way.” (St. Thomas Aquinas, “Summa Theologiae”, II – II, q. 30, a. 4).

“Patient and merciful”…describes “God’s nature” (6)

6. “For his mercy endures forever.” (Ps. 136)

7. “With our eyes fixed on Jesus and his merciful gaze, we experience the love of the Most Holy Trinity. The mission Jesus received from the Father was that of revealing the mystery of divine love in its fullness.  ‘God is love’” (1 Jh. 4: 8, 16).

8. “Mercy is presented (in parables devoted to Mercy) as a force that overcomes everything, filling the heart with love and bringing consolation through pardon…Pardoning offences becomes the clearest expression of merciful love, and for us Christians it is an imperative from which we cannot excuse ourselves.”

9. “Mercy is the very foundation of the Church’s life…The Church’s very credibility is seen in how she shows merciful and compassionate love.”

10. “The Church is commissioned to announce the mercy of God, the beating heart of the Gospel, which in its own way must penetrate the heart and mind of every person.”

11. “Be merciful just as your Father is merciful” (Lk. 6: 36). We must listen to Jesus’ command. To listen “means rediscovering the value of silence.”

12. “The practice of pilgrimage has a special place in the Holy Year, because it represents the journey each of us makes in this life. Life itself is a pilgrimage…to the desired destination.”

13. “In this Holy Year, we look forward to the experience of opening our hearts to those living on the outermost fringes of society”…to do “corporal and spiritual works of mercy.”

14. “In this Gospel of Luke (4: 18) we find another important element that will help us live the Jubilee with faith.”

15. “The season of Lent during this Jubilee Year should also be lived more intensely as a privileged moment to celebrate and experience God’s mercy.” Pope Francis cited Micah 7: 18-19; Isaiah 58: 6-11.

The initiative of 24HOURS FOR THE LORD”, to be celebrated on the Friday and Saturday preceding the FOURTH WEEK OF LENT, should be implemented in every diocese.  Sacrament of Reconciliation is advised.

16. Pope Francis will send missionaries of mercy – priests granted with “authority to pardon even those sins reserved to the Holy See.”

17. Pope Francis begs criminal “to change their lives.” Including the corrupt.

18. Pope Francis recalls “the relationship between justice and mercy. Both culminate in love. “Justice is conceived essentially as a faithful abandonment of oneself to God’s will.” “Faith over and above the observance of the law.”

19. Mercy isnot opposed to justice but rather expresses God’s way of reaching out to the sinner, offering him a new chance to look at himself, convert and believe.

20. A Jubilee also entails the granting of indulgences…it becomes indulgence on the part of the Father, who through the Bride of Christ, his Church, reaches the pardoned sinner and frees him from every residue left by the consequences of sin, enabling him to act with charity, to grow in love…”

21. Pope Francis reaches out to Judaism and Islam, both of which consider mercy to be one of God’s most important attributes.

22. Pope Francis now turns to Mary, “the Mother of Mercy.” Also to St. Faustina Kowalski, the great apostle of mercy.

23 Pope Francis concludes by exhorting us to live God’s mercy in our daily lives, “contemplating the face of Christ” and the Church to “repeat confidently without end: ‘Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old’” (Ps. 25: 6)

Back to: COMMUNICATIONS from the Bishop (No. 852, January 6, 2016)

Back to: 2016 COMMUNICATIONS from the Bishop

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About bishopdinualdo

Bishop Dinualdo D. Gutierrez is the Bishop of the Diocese of Marbel
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