Pope Francis has recently begun his “Fridays of Mercy.” One Friday each month the Pope will perform a special gesture of mercy.
How about us? What if each one of us did likewise and decided to perform at least one gesture of mercy – even just one Friday a month? What might result from this intentionality?
As I reflect on some possibilities for myself, I think back to what we learned in catechism – you know – the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. To refresh my memory, I went to the Catechism of the Catholic Church where we read that the spiritual works of mercy include instructing, advising, consoling, comforting, forgiving, and bearing wrongs patiently. The corporal works of mercy consist in feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned, and burying the dead (n. 2447).
When I take a look at the world right here in my own backyard, seeing through the lens of mercy, I begin to see many opportunities to offer multiple gestures of mercy to those around me – many ways in which I might share God’s love with others. Something as simple as visiting a resident of a nursing home who has no one to visit them or as profound as opening my heart to one to whom it has previously been closed has the potential to transform both myself and the one to whom I offer the demonstration of mercy.
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How do you plan to live this Year of Mercy?