Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Jubilee Year of Mercy

The joy of a Merciful Life
(Dancers during the JPII Guadalupe festival)
The Jubilee Year of Mercy has begun.  This has me very excited.  We began the year last month.  Our two parishes and other friends joined me in 30 days of  radical love.  I now see that Creative Communications has put out a calendar entitled 30 Days of Mercy Love in Action.  This means I was not has creative as I thought or that the Holy Spirit is working strongly inspiring many with similar ideas.  Take it as you will.
Knock out evil and be rewarded with sweets

The reason I invited others to join me in this was as a response to the negativity and fear that seems to be growing in our country.  It greatly hurt me to hear the fear that leads to denying refugees safety, judging Muslims by some terrorist groups and actions, and increasing suspicion of our neighbors.  It also bothers me that people seem to put more trust in guns than God.  There is another way!!
The Mercy Medical Sisters
The Mobil Clinic brings mercy to folks in Washburn and Rutledge

Therefore I wrote to the Knoxville News Sentinel about my challenge to do thirty days of radical acts of love to demonstrate that Love is more powerful than fear and good will (God's will) more helpful than suspicion and isolation.  This message was picked up by the local papers and others who read my facebook page.

The greatest act of mercy
The result was greater than imagined.  Members of our parish engaged in helping additional families for Christmas, bring small items to the Children's Hospital, buying small gifts like flowers and candies for cashier's.  Many notes of appreciation were sent as well as phone calls.  Stories of their generosity were many, but the greater surprise was those who received acts of radical love in return. On single mother who had been engaging in these acts shared this story:  She drove her mother to the airport early in the morning.  Her young son and her stopped at McDonalds for breakfast.  After she made her order she discovered she had grabbed the wrong purse and had no cash, no credit cards and no driver license with her.  She apologized and cancelled the order.  The manager came up and said no worry, it is on us.  These little acts do change the world.

In this year of mercy, Pope Francis is inviting all of us to engage in radical acts of love and forgiveness. Doing one small thing a day opens one's eyes to the many possibilities to make a difference.  We may discover greater joys and surprises along the way.

Bring your gifts like the Kings to Christ
 (Picture is from the Epiphany Pastorales Play)
God can never be outdone in generosity.  The more love you share, the more love you will receive.  It is God math:  to more you give the more you gain.  It will happen every time!!
You are lights in the world.  Shine On.