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Fr. Ron's Blog

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Dear friends,
We continue our reflection on The Face of Mercy, convoking the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. According to St. Thomas Aquinas, God exercises his omnipotence particularly in his exercise of mercy. Even in the Old Testament, God’s mercy is more concretely demonstrated than his punishment and destruction. “Patient and merciful” are abiding words most often used to describe God’s relationship to his people. Especially in the Psalms is the goodness and mercy of God visible, in such references as, “he forgives all your iniquity, heals all your diseases, redeems your life, crowns you with steadfast love and mercy.

He executes justice for the oppressed, gives food to the hungry, sets prisoners free, opens the eyes of the blind, lifts up those who are bowed down, watches over the sojourners, upholds the widow and the fatherless. The mercy of God is not an abstract idea; it is a concrete reality which God shows over and over again.

The revealing of this mystery of divine love and mercy was the very mission Jesus received from the Father. “God is love” the evangelist John tells us. It is the first and only time in all of Scripture that this affirmation of God’s being is made. And this love is made visible and tangible in Jesus’ entire life. The relationships he forms with the people who approach him bear this unique character.

And the character of this relationship with Jesus, and through Jesus with the Father, extends from believer to believer, as well. Jesus affirms that mercy is not only an action of the Father; it becomes a criterion for identifying who his true children are. In short, we are called to show mercy because mercy has been shown to us. Pardoning offenses becomes the clearest expression of merciful love, and for us Christians it is an imperative from which we cannot excuse ourselves. From Scripture we know that mercy is a key word in understanding God’s action toward us, in the concrete, through intentions, attitudes and behaviors that are shown in daily living. He feels responsible; he desires our wellbeing and he wants to see us happy, full of joy and peaceful. Just as he is merciful in this way, so too are we called to be merciful with each other in the same way.

And not just as individuals. This kind of mercy, shown by the Father to us through Jesus, and to one another as individuals, must also be the foundation of the Church’s life. In her pastoral activity, in her preaching and in her witness, the Church must be caught up in God’s tenderness. The Church’s very credibility must be seen in her merciful and compassionate love. Because the practice of mercy is waning in the wider culture, it is even more important for the Church to take up the call to mercy once more, to bear the weaknesses and struggles of the world. Mercy is the force that reawakens new life and instills the courage to look to the future with hope. Quoting St. Pope John Paul II’s encyclical, Rich in Mercy, Pope Francis reminds us of the Church’s special role in bringing mercy to the world. The Church lives an authentic life when she professes and proclaims mercy – the most stupendous attribute of the Creator and of the Redeemer – (emphasis my own) and when she brings people close to the sources of the Savior’s mercy, of which she is the trustee and dispenser.”

The mercy of God is the beating heart of the Gospel which must penetrate the heart and mind of every person and the Spouse of Christ must pattern her own behavior after the Son of God. This theme of mercy needs to be proposed by the Church again and again, with enthusiasm and renewed pastoral action – the credibility of the Church and of her message depends on it. Her language and her gestures must transmit mercy, to inspire the hearts of all people to find the road that leads to the Father. Wherever the Church is present, the mercy of the Father must be evident.

Wherever there are Christians, everyone should find an oasis of mercy.

God Bless,
Fr. Ron

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Mass Schedule

Weekend Liturgies
Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
Sunday
8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m.,
11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m.,
3 p.m. (Spanish), 6:30 p.m.
Weekday Liturgies
Monday thru Friday,
6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m.,
and 12 noon
Saturday, 8:30 a.m. only
Holy Days
Eve: 7:30pm (anticipated)
6:30am, 8:30am, and 12noon 

 

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