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God's divine mercy

2016-03-31 12:24

tl_files/rpbooks/images/newsletter/logo.jpgIt’s the Year of Mercy and the feast of the Divine Mercy. Isn’t it a wonderful excuse to look more closely at the logo for this amazing year when we are challenged to think about mercy, compassion, gentleness, understanding, insight, empathy and all those wonderful qualities which we all wish we possessed in greater abundance?

The logo for the Year of Mercy shows Jesus, the Good Shepherd, carrying someone, “the lost soul” on his shoulders. They look into each other’s eyes. In fact, Jesus and the one he carries share an eye, showing that "Christ sees with the eyes of Adam, and Adam with the eyes of Christ". What do they see?

The first Christians, knowing the horrors of crucifixion from first-hand experience, could not bear to portray the crucified Jesus. Instead, they showed him as the Good Shepherd, carrying the lost sheep. However, in the church of the Twelve Apostles in Rome, Jesus is also accompanied by some of his apostles, hands outstretched to receive the “living water” coming down from heaven. On the feast of the Divine Mercy, perhaps we might remember that, in his play The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare said that mercy “droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath”.

Pope Francis recently said that he had set himself a goal for this year: that, on at least one Friday per month, he would perform an act of mercy – and so he has made unscheduled visits to people in a drug and rehabilitation centre, prison and other places where most of us never think of appearing.

What can I do during this Year of Mercy, on this feast of the Divine Mercy? Is there some way in which God’s mercy can shine through me?

tl_files/rpbooks/images/newsletter/The Good Shepherd.jpg

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