Jubilee Year of Mercy
THE JUBILEE YEAR OF MERCY, given to us by Pope Francis, invites us to contemplate the mercy of God revealed to us in the face of Jesus, his Son. The Year runs from 8 December 2015 to 20 November 2016 and offers us the opportunity to reflect on how we might better radiate and reflect the tender love of God in our world and to seek to draw others into experiencing that love and mercy.
THE HOLY DOOR AT OUR LADY AND ST ANNE’S
Pope Francis has decreed that, in this Jubilee Year of Mercy, Holy Doors will be declared in cathedrals and in special historic churches throughout the world. These doors become Doors of Mercy through which anyone who enters will experience the love of God who consoles, pardons and instils hope. In the Archdiocese of Birmingham, the church of Our Lady and St Anne, with the Shrine of Our Lady of Caversham, has been chosen to have a Holy Door.
As people approach the Holy Door they will read this:
The Holy Door symbolises a gateway to God’s mercy – the ultimate and supreme act by which He comes to meet people. Mercy is “the bridge that connects God and humanity, opening our hearts to the hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness,” wrote the Pope as he instituted the Holy Year of Mercy.
The door especially represents Christ Himself. As Jesus said, according to the Gospel of John (10:9), “I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture”.
When the door opens, the obstacles between us and our God are removed. During the Holy Year, we hope and pray that our personal obstacles that keep us away from God will be removed so that we will have an ever closer relationship with our Lord. To pass through the door is to confess with firm conviction that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Saviour who suffered, died, and rose for our salvation; and to open ourselves to accept forgiveness.
With great courage, a person freely decides to cross the threshold so as to access the abundant graces made available to us through the healing mercy of God.
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THE LOGO of the Jubilee Year was produced by a Jesuit priest, Father Marko Ivan Rupnik, well known in Lourdes for creating the mosaics of the Luminous Mysteries that adorn the facade of the Rosary Basilica.
It is presented as a little theological summary of the theme of mercy. It shows Christ carrying Adam on his shoulders, a symbol of our humanity. What was lost by the first Adam, is redeemed by the second Adam (1 Cor 15:47).
As the Good Shepherd, Christ takes upon himself the burden of our injured humanity not to condemn but to raise it up. Mercy is to be seen in the exchange of glances when Christ’s eyes merge with those of man: through love they are restored to one another and emerge from the darkness.
Finally, the motto ‘Merciful like the Father’, which accompanies the logo, taken from the Gospel of Luke, suggests that our lives should be the embodiment of mercy following the example of the Father, who asks us not to judge or condemn but to forgive and to love without measure.
PRAYER OF POPE FRANCIS
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 its 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.
THE CORPORAL WORKS OF MERCY
to feed the hungry
to give drink to the thirsty
to clothe the naked
to shelter the homeless
to visit those in prison
to comfort the sick
to bury the dead
THE SPIRITUAL WORKS OF MERCY
to admonish sinners
to instruct the uninformed
to counsel the doubtful
to comfort the sorrowful
to be patient with those in error
to forgive offenses
to pray for the living and the dead
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