Jubilee Year of Mercy & Beyond
Monthly Monday Mercy Check-up by Martha Fernández-Sardina
How Do We Exercise a Love that Evangelizes During and Beyond the Jubilee Year of Mercy?
What is this Bull about mercy? That is what many are asking themselves as the Jubilee of Mercy begins on December 8, 2015, and continues through November 20, 2016.
Misericordiae Vultus¸ the Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy explains it well: it is about the Father “rich in mercy” (Eph 2:4) and about His children who are mandated to receive and give love-mercy and to “Be merciful just as your Father is merciful” (Lk 6:36) . It is about recovering and embodying the deep meaning of Jesus’ parables of mercy, especially that of the prodigally generous and love-lavish father of a prodigally wasteful son and his mercy-stingy older brother (cf. Luke 15.) The Bull and the Jubilee are intended to help us understand and imitate Our Father when we are like and when we encounter the younger or older brother.
How do we do it? How can we “be merciful as our heavenly Father is merciful?” Here are some helpful pointers, reflections, and tips. Consider these First Five Tips and measure your love-mercy progress as we go:
- Imitate God knowing that “God’s way of loving becomes the measure of human love.” (Pope Benedict XVI: Deus Caritas Est, 11)
- Imitate the Saints who believed that “The measure of love is to love without measure.” (St. Francis de Sales)
- Learn to love like God: truly, freely, widely, generously, convincingly, with hesed-emet, hesed-sedekah, hesed-yesua love: truthful, righteous, saving loving-kindness.
- Love and evangelize with genuine closeness, compassion and care knowing that “The first pastoral commandment is closeness: being close to the people. Closeness!” (Pope Francis: Meeting with the Parish Council of St. Mary Mother of the Redeemer Parish, Rome; March 8, 2015)
- Realize that loving and pastoring smelly sheep gets “messy” and it may at times appear as if you are being “unorthodox” or excessive in your merciful love-giving as you are imitating the prodigally generous father, Our Father who is in heaven.
Do not give up on love. Receive it. Share it. Go on! Love. More. Better. Fully. Freely. Love someone new each day.
May our words and actions during this Jubilee of Mercy clearly show and tell both prodigals and older brothers alike what their Father and ours is shouting to humanity with a love that evangelizes and an aim to conversion: #RememberYouAreLoved!
*As it is the “Year of Mercy” we are entering and not just the day of mercy, each month on a Monday, Martha is going to give us a “Monthly Monday Mercy Check-up” her on the WINE website to help us keep the mission of mercy before us. You can also continue to enjoy Martha’s writings throughout the year in her column in The Catechetical Review and on her Jubilee Facebook page.
Martha Fernández-Sardina will soon be serving the Archdiocese of Denver as the new Director of Communications for Hispanics and has served as Director for Evangelization of the Archdioceses of Washington and San Antonio, as Associate Continental Director of Evangelization 2000. She is the founder and director of Prepare The Way Enterprises and Remember You Are Loved™, and an international, bilingual new evangelization speaker and consultant, writer and new evangelization trainer touching thousands in the Americas, Europe, and Oceania through talks, radio, TV, articles, and social media.
Find, friend and follow her at Facebook.com/JubileeYearOfMercy, Facebook.com/RememberYouAreLoved and Facebook.com/iEvangelizeMarthaFernandezSardina, and @Evangelize, RememberYouAreLoved.com and iEvangelize.wordpress.com.