Monday, December 21, 2015

Jubilee Year of Mercy

On December 8, the Jubilee Year of Mercy started, and will continue until the feast of Christ the King next year. The Jubilee tradition was adapted for Catholics in 1300 by Pope Boniface VIII as a universal “year of forgiveness of all sins.” Since that time, the ordinary Jubilee years have usually been at 25- or 500-year intervals (the last one being in 2000). Other extraordinary Jubilee years like this year’s have been declared for various special reasons. Jubilee years are characterized especially by prayer, good works, pilgrimages to sacred sites (especially Rome), and special indulgences for those who participate.
Pope Francis desires that this Jubilee will be steeped in mercy, an extraordinary time of grace, so that we can go out to every man and woman, bringing the goodness and tenderness of God. May the balm of mercy reach everyone, both believers and those far away, as a sign that the kingdom of God is already present in our midst.

The official logo designed for the Jubilee Year of Mercy represents Jesus taking upon his shoulders the lost human person (i.e., each of us) with a love that can change one’s life. While the Good Shepherd, in his great mercy, takes humanity upon himself, his eyes are merged with those of the human person, who sees the world and others with Christ’s eyes, and Christ sees with the person’s eyes. Thus every person discovers in Christ, the new Adam, one’s own humanity and looks to a future, contemplating in his gaze, the love of the Father.

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