Author: Peter Yaremko

The Jubilee Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis begins December 8. What is it that makes mercy such an important part of our relationship with God and in our treatment of other people? Why is Pope Francis dedicating an entire year for us to be so mindful of mercy?

Simply this: if you hope to receive mercy, show mercy. If you look for kindness, show kindness. If you want to receive, give. Do not ask for yourself what you deny to others.

These thoughts come from Saint Peter Chrysologus, a fifth-century Italian bishop. Peter said that when you open your ear to others you open God’s ear to yourself.

This idea of treating others with mercy is something well known to us as Catholics. We don’t show mercy to win heaven, but because Jesus asks us to—in the prayer he taught us: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”

The Jubilee Year of Mercy is intended to help us remember these words of Jesus and try to love others in the same way God loves us.

We tend to love someone because they’re attractive or fun or because we want them to love us. That’s not why God loves us. He loves us not because we’re good, but because he is.

Our prayer today: God of love, you pour out your mercy to overflowing. Help us to show mercy to others with the same generosity.