We have a year of mercy which begins on the feast of the Immaculate Conception this Tuesday. We have a whole year to think about the mercy of God and how we can both experience and extend that mercy to others. We can think of the beatitude, “Bless are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” So we already have something to keep in mind, that if we want to receive mercy, then we have to give it away. There is that Bible logic or spiritual physics that shows up again. If you and I want to live, then we have to give life away. If we want joy, then we need to bring joy to someone else. If we want our faith to grow, then we have to share it with someone else.
What can we say about God’s mercy? We pray in the liturgy that God’s mercy is his characteristic that chiefly manifests his omnipotence. God’s all-powerfulness is revealed in his mercy, and not just revealed, but revealed best in it. Why is that?
Well, in every good work of God there is something of his mercy. God gives gifts. It is what he does. Sometimes he gives gifts that are proportionate with what we deserve. We call this gift-giving of God his justice. At other times, God gives gifts disproportionately from what we deserve. This is what we call his mercy.
Mercy is what makes God generous to us. Mercy is what makes us generous to others. Recognizing how we have received mercy and how we need mercy is going to be the first set of my reflections on mercy.
Because if we are excited about a year of mercy, it means that we have things for which we need to ask mercy. We have sins, moments where we have squandered God’s good gifts, or moments where we have chosen to act selfishly or our own way, instead of the way the One who has given us everything would have wanted us to act.
This is why a good confession, and a habit of going to confession regularly, is going to be the best way that we take full advantage of the Year of Mercy. What if after this year of mercy, all of us were just a little bit better in receiving God’s mercy regularly? This is one reason why we are having confessions more often. Everyday, Tues. to Sat. at 7:45 am. We also have confessions Sat. at 4:00. We will also have our penance service at Holy Ghost next Sunday, December 13 at 3:00. Take advantage of these opportunities or some of those listed below to get into the habit of regular contact with the characteristic of God that most reveals his all-powerfulness – his mercy.
Last week’s homily suggestion: prepare for the Christmas by either looking up the readings for the Christmas Mass that you plan on attending. They can be found at usccb.org . Or read the Gospel of Luke. Or by all means, come to confession.
Adult Faith Formation: Adult Faith Formation has one more week left, Wednesday, Dec. 9. We will meet at 5:30 pm in the rectory. Feel free to come check it out as part of your New liturgical Year’s resolutions!
Men’s Group: Men’s Group will continue on Dec.10, at 5:00 pm. It has been going well, and we are more than open to having new guys join at any time.
Sunday, December 13 – 3:00 pm at Holy Ghost Monday,
December 14 – 7:00 pm at St. Charles
Tuesday, December 15 – 7:00 pm at Notre Dame
Wednesday, December 16 – Time? At St. Bridget’s
Thursday, December 17 – 7:00 pm at Boyd