Posted February 4, 2016 by Guest Contributor in
 
 

Let yourself be a peace maker

I always like to link the Gospel Beatitudes with Matthew 25, where Jesus presents us with the works of mercy and tells us that we will be judged on them. I ask you, then, to rediscover the corporal works of mercy: to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, assist the sick, visit the imprisoned and bury the dead. Nor should we overlook the spiritual works of mercy: to counsel the doubtful, teach the ignorant, admonish sinners, comfort the sorrowful, forgive offences, patiently bear with troublesome people and pray to God for the living and the dead. As you can see, mercy does not just imply being a “good person” nor is it mere sentimentality. It is the measure of our authenticity as disciples of Jesus, and of our credibility as Christians in today’s world.
Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for the thirty-first WYD 2016

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Jesus came to the world as a little baby, a little light from Heaven piercing the darkness of the world. He came, suffered and died to redeem us. His redemption allows us to be worthy of Heaven one day.

During Christmas, we celebrated Jesus as one who came down as Peace, and we celebrated that by allowing ourselves to be instruments of His peace. We identified five aspects of living through which the peace of Christ can be expressed: Joy, Gratitude, Faith and Trust, Encouragement, and Forgiveness.

Now that Christmas is over, it doesn’t mean we stop being His instruments. With the Extraordinary Year of Mercy upon us, we are called to go deeper in order to accept Jesus’ invitation of healing. We are called to make pilgrimages to Holy Doors, to complete corporal and spiritual works of mercy, to pray for the Pope, and to make changes to our lives so that we can serve others in the image of Christ.

We can take what we’ve learned about ourselves during the Christmas season and use that as a springboard to help us be the instrument Jesus is calling us to be. In helping others, we also discover more about our role in His plan for the redemption of mankind. Jesus redeems the world, and He chose to do it through us.

This is an excerpt from an address by Pope Francis to World Youth Day pilgrims, on August 15th, 2015:

“I always like to link the Gospel Beatitudes with Matthew 25, where Jesus presents us with the works of mercy and tells us that we will be judged on them. I ask you, then, to rediscover the corporal works of mercy: to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, assist the sick, visit the imprisoned and bury the dead. Nor should we overlook the spiritual works of mercy: to counsel the doubtful, teach the ignorant, admonish sinners, comfort the sorrowful, forgive offences, patiently bear with troublesome people and pray to God for the living and the dead. As you can see, mercy does not just imply being a “good person” nor is it mere sentimentality. It is the measure of our authenticity as disciples of Jesus, and of our credibility as Christians in today’s world.”

Mercy requires more than sitting with the idea of being a good person. We are instruments of peace, and what good are instruments if they are not used? We are called to get up, to follow Jesus’ lead and go into the world. Though we all serve in different ways, we all walk following in Jesus’ footsteps.

We invite you to walk with us by visiting our special Year of Mercy website, Footprints of Mercy, at http://fll.cc/mercy. We will be posting new content every week. Through this project, we hope to help you learn more about the different aspects of this Extraordinary Jubilee, give you resources to reflect on being an instrument of God, and to give you action items so that you can bring Christ’s Mercy to the world.


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