Jubilee Year of Mercy Lent 2016 Reflections and prayers by Father Warren J. Savage

These excerpts from Pope Francis' Misericordiae Vultus make excellent inserts for your Sunday bulletin or for weekly discussion groups throughout the Year of Mercy.

"I present, therefore, this Extraordinary Jubilee Year dedicated to living out in our daily lives the mercy which the Father constantly extends to all of us. " Pope Francis, Misericordiae Vultus, no.25

December 6, 2015

Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.1

December 13, 2015

Mercy has become living and visible in Jesus of Nazareth, reaching its culmination in him.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.1

December 20, 2015

Mercy: the word reveals the very mystery of the Most Holy Trinity.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.2

December 27, 2015

Mercy: the ultimate and supreme act by which God comes to meet us.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.2

January 3, 2016

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.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.2

January 10, 2016

Mercy: the bridge that connects God and man, opening our hearts to the hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.2

January 17, 2016

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.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.3

January 24, 2016

No one can place limits on the love of God who is ever ready to forgive.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.3

January 31, 2016

The strength of the Risen Lord, who constantly supports us on our pilgrim way, will sustain us.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.4

February 7, 2016

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. How many pages of Sacred Scripture are appropriate for meditation during the weeks of Lent to help us rediscover the merciful face of the Father!
Misericordiae Vultus, no.17

February 14, 2016

May the Holy Spirit, who guides the steps of believers in cooperating with the work of salvation wrought by Christ, lead the way and support the People of God so that they may contemplate the face of mercy.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.4

February 21, 2016

We will entrust the life of the Church, all humanity, and the entire cosmos to the Lordship of Christ, asking him to pour out his mercy upon us like the morning dew, so that everyone may work together to build a brighter future.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.5

February 28, 2016

The initiative of “24 Hours for the Lord,” to be celebrated on the Friday and Saturday preceding the Fourth Week of Lent, should be implemented in every diocese... Let us place the Sacrament of Reconciliation at the centre once more in such a way that it will enable people to touch the grandeur of God’s mercy with their own hands. For every penitent, it will be a source of true interior peace.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.17

March 6, 2016

May the balm of mercy reach everyone, both believers and those far away, as a sign that the Kingdom of God is already present in our midst!
Misericordiae Vultus, no.5

March 13, 2016

The mercy of God is not an abstract idea, but a concrete reality with which he reveals his love as of that of a father or a mother, moved to the very depths out of love for their child.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.6

March 20, 2016

God's love gushes forth from the depths naturally, full of tenderness and compassion, indulgence and mercy.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.6

March 27, 2016

While Jesus was instituting the Eucharist as an everlasting memorial of himself and his paschal sacrifice, he symbolically placed this supreme act of revelation in the light of his mercy.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.7

April 3, 2016

By virtue of mercy, all the events of the Old Testament are replete with profound salvific import. Mercy renders God’s history with Israel a history of salvation.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.7

April 10, 2016

The mission Jesus received from the Father was that of revealing the mystery of divine love in its fullness.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.8

April 17, 2016

Jesus' person is nothing but love, a love given gratuitously.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.8

April 24, 2016

The signs Jesus works, especially in favour of sinners, the poor, the marginalized, the sick, and the suffering, are all meant to teach mercy.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.8

May 1, 2016

Everything in Jesus speaks of mercy. Nothing in him is devoid of compassion.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.8

May 8, 2016

In the parables devoted to mercy, Jesus reveals the nature of God as that of a Father who never gives up until he has forgiven the wrong and overcome rejection with compassion and mercy.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.9

May 15, 2016

In the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the father with two sons, mercy is presented as a force that overcomes everything, filling the heart with love and bringing consolation through pardon.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.9

May 22, 2016

Jesus affirms that mercy is not only an action of the Father, it becomes a criterion for ascertaining who his true children are. In short, we are called to show mercy because mercy has first been shown to us.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.9

May 29, 2016

At times how hard it seems to forgive! And yet pardon is the instrument placed into our fragile hands to attain serenity of heart. To let go of anger, wrath, violence, and revenge are necessary conditions to living joyfully.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.9

June 5, 2016

Love, after all, can never be just an abstraction. By its very nature, it indicates something concrete: intentions, attitudes, and behaviours that are shown in daily living.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.9

June 12, 2016

The mercy of God is his loving concern for each one of us. He feels responsible; that is, he desires our wellbeing and he wants to see us happy, full of joy, and peaceful. This is the path which the merciful love of Christians must also travel.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.9

June 19, 2016

Just as God is merciful, so we are called to be merciful to each other.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.9

June 26, 2016

Mercy is the very foundation of the Church’s life.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.10

July 3, 2016

The time has come for the Church to take up the joyful call to mercy once more. It is time to return to the basics and to bear the weaknesses and struggles of our brothers and sisters.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.10

July 10, 2016

Mercy is the force that reawakens us to new life and instills in us the courage to look to the future with hope.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.10

July 17, 2016

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.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.12

July 24, 2016

It is absolutely essential for the Church and for the credibility of her message that she herself live and testify to mercy. Her language and her gestures must transmit mercy, so as to touch the hearts of all people and inspire them once more to find the road that leads to the Father.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.12

July 31, 2016

The Church’s first truth is the love of Christ. The Church makes herself a servant of this love and mediates it to all people: a love that forgives and expresses itself in the gift of oneself. Consequently, wherever the Church is present, the mercy of the Father must be evident. In our parishes, communities, associations and movements, in a word, wherever there are Christians, everyone should find an oasis of mercy.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.12

August 7, 2016

In order to be capable of mercy...we must first of all dispose ourselves to listen to the Word of God. This means rediscovering the value of silence in order to meditate on the Word that comes to us. In this way, it will be possible to contemplate God’s mercy and adopt it as our lifestyle.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.13

August 14, 2016

To refrain from judgement and condemnation means, in a positive sense, to know how to accept the good in every person and to spare him any suffering that might be caused by our partial judgment, our presumption to know everything about him. But this is still not sufficient to express mercy.  Jesus asks us also to forgive and to give. To be instruments of mercy because it was we who first received mercy from God. To be generous with others, knowing that God showers his goodness upon us with immense generosity.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.14

August 21, 2016

In mercy, we find proof of how God loves us. He gives his entire self, always, freely, asking nothing in return. He comes to our aid whenever we call upon him.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.14

August 28, 2016

In this Holy Year, we look forward to the experience of opening our hearts to those living on the outermost fringes of society: fringes which modern society itself creates.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.15

September 4, 2016

How many uncertain and painful situations there are in the world today! How many are the wounds borne by the flesh of those who have no voice because their cry is muffled and drowned out by the indifference of the rich! During this Jubilee, the Church will be called even more to heal these wounds, to assuage them with the oil of consolation, to bind them with mercy and cure them with solidarity and vigilant care.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.15

September 11, 2016

Let us not fall into humiliating indifference or a monotonous routine that prevents us from discovering what is new! Let us ward off destructive cynicism! Let us open our eyes and see the misery of the world, the wounds of our brothers and sisters who are denied their dignity, and let us recognize that we are compelled to heed their cry for help!
Misericordiae Vultus, no.15

September 18, 2016

Let us rediscover these corporal works of mercy: to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, heal the sick, visit the imprisoned, and bury the dead.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.15

September 25, 2016

And let us not forget the spiritual works of mercy: to counsel the doubtful, instruct the ignorant, admonish sinners, comfort the afflicted, forgive offences, bear patiently those who do us ill, and pray for the living and the dead.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.15

October 2, 2016

This Holy Year will bring to the fore the richness of Jesus’ mission echoed in the words of the prophet: to bring a word and gesture of consolation to the poor, to proclaim liberty to those bound by new forms of slavery in modern society, to restore sight to those who can see no more because they are caught up in themselves, to restore dignity to all those from whom it has been robbed.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.16

October 9, 2016

May the message of mercy reach everyone, and may no one be indifferent to the call to experience mercy.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.19

October 16, 2016

Jesus affirms that, from that time onward, the rule of life for his disciples must place mercy at the centre, as Jesus himself demonstrated by sharing meals with sinners. Mercy, once again, is revealed as a fundamental aspect of Jesus’ mission.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.20

October 23, 2016

Mercy is not 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.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.21

October 30, 2016

[A]nyone who makes a mistake must pay the price. However, this is just the beginning of conversion, not its end, because one begins to feel the tenderness and mercy of God. God does not deny justice. He rather envelopes it and surpasses it with an even greater event in which we experience love as the foundation of true justice.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.21

November 6, 2016

God’s forgiveness knows no bounds. In the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God makes even more evident his love and its power to destroy all human sin.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.22

November 13, 2016

There is an aspect of mercy that goes beyond the confines of the Church. It relates us to Judaism and Islam, both of which consider mercy to be one of God’s most important attributes...I trust that this Jubilee year celebrating the mercy of God will foster an encounter with these religions and with other noble religious traditions; may it open us to even more fervent dialogue so that we might know and understand one another better; may it eliminate every form of closed-mindedness and disrespect, and drive out every form of violence and discrimination. 
Misericordiae Vultus, no.23

November 20, 2016

No one has penetrated the profound mystery of the incarnation like Mary. Her entire life was patterned after the presence of mercy made flesh. The Mother of the Crucified and Risen One has entered the sanctuary of divine mercy because she participated intimately in the mystery of His love.
Misericordiae Vultus, no.24

November 27, 2016

In this Jubilee Year, may the Church echo the word of God that resounds strong and clear as a message and a sign of pardon, strength, aid, and love. May she never tire of extending mercy, and be ever patient in offering compassion and comfort. May the Church become the voice of every man and woman, and 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).
Misericordiae Vultus, no.25