The following reflection is taken from the Face of Mercy, the Papal Bull of Pope Francis announcing the Year of Mercy:
Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s mercy.
We need constantly to contemplate the mystery of mercy. It is a wellspring of joy, serenity, and peace. Our salvation depends on it. Mercy: the word reveals the very mystery of the Most Holy Trinity. Mercy: the ultimate and supreme act by which God comes to meet us. 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. Mercy: the bridge that connects God and man, opening our hearts to a hope of being loved forever despite our sinfulness.
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.
Mercy will always be greater than any sin, and no one can place limits on the love of God who is always ready to forgive.
The mercy of God is not an abstract idea, but a concrete reality through which he reveals his love as that of a father or a mother, moved to the very depths out of love for their child.
The mission Jesus received from the Father was that of revealing the mystery of Divine love in its fullness. “God is love” (1 Jn 4:8, 16), John affirms for the first and only time in all of Holy Scripture. This love has now been made visible and tangible in Jesus’ entire life. His person is nothing but love, a love given gratuitously.
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
Bury the dead
SPIRITUAL WORKS OF MERCY:
To counsel the doubtful
Instruct the ignorant
Comfort the afflicted
Bear patiently those who do us ill
Pray for the living and the dead