February 8, 2016
Recently, I was reading a post on Facebook from my old high school, Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons in Schenectady, NY. The post highlighted a message from Pope Francis that I wish to share with all of you. Pope Francis, in the Year of Mercy, calls us to reconsider how we participate in Lent.
Quite often, many of the people that I speak with during Lent choose something to “give up”. It is something that I have always practiced, too. Pope Francis reminds us that sacrifice without adding value to another’s life is sacrifice without meaning. He offers this simple quote from Matthew as a redirection of our Lenten sacrifice. “I desire mercy, and not sacrifice” (Mt 9:13).
“For all of us, then, the season of Lent in this Jubilee Year is a favorable time to overcome our existential alienation by listening to God’s word and by practicing the works of mercy,” (Pope Francis, p.1). Pope Francis reminds us that there is a connection between the corporal works of mercy and the spiritual works of mercy. Instead of separating the works of mercy, we must look for opportunities to connect our own personal sacrifice and prayer to touch and change the lives of those who have needs like food, shelter, or any other kind of help. We are called to share God’s Mercy unsparingly.
It is through our practice of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy that we will humbly live as God calls us- to practice our Faith, to live with and provide Hope for others and Love all of God’s creations fully and unselfishly.
Lent 2016: "I desire mercy, and not sacrifice" (Mt 9:13). The works of mercy on the road of the Jubilee | Francis. (2015, October 04). Retrieved February 08, 2016, from http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/lent/documents/papa-francesco_20151004_messaggio-quaresima2016.html