This is a Jubilee year, a year of celebration of God’s mercy! This mercy comes to meet each person in the face of God, our loving Father, who welcomes and forgives, forgetting completely the sin committed. Let us practice this mercy by recognizing that it begins with us asking for it, being changed by it, and then sharing that same mercy with others!
Pope Francis has declared an extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy beginning the week of December 8, 2015, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. The Holy Father has proclaimed this holy year in order to express more clearly the Church's mission “to be a witness of mercy."
A jubilee year is a holy year marked by acts of faith, charity, and communion. It has its roots in Mosaic law when every fiftieth year was made holy for the Jewish people. Debts were canceled, slaves were freed, and lands were restored to their original owners. Ordinary jubilees occur every 25 or 50 years, and extraordinary jubilees are called for a momentous occasion.
The scriptural focus for the Year of Mercy is Christ's command from Luke 6:36, “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” One way that Catholics can partake in this holy year is by performing the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.
St. Norbert will be commemorating the Jubilee year by displaying a Cross of Mercy. Each month we will add a Corporal Work of Mercy to the cross, inviting each of us to be a witness of God’s mercy through that practice.
The Jubilee Year of Mercy will end on the Solemnity of Christ the King, November 20, 2016.