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In this month, we celebrate the feast of St Mary Magdalene, “Apostola Apostolorum”, Apostle of the Apostles. She was a disciple of Jesus, following Him till His crucifixion, and the first witness of His resurrection. She brought the good news of His resurrection to the apostles. This is the reason given by the Congregation for the Divine Cult of the Holy See when last year her feast was established. This decision was also made to foster the attention and reflection about the role of women in the mission of the Church.
This month we worship the Heart of Jesus in a special way. We want to put under His Sacred heart also our commitment: “A Minute for Peace”. All over the world we need peace. Every day we receive news about terrorist attacks; some become viral, while some others are less known, because they happen in countries which are not under the spotlights.
This month dedicated to the Holy Virgin sees also the celebration of WUCWO day on 13th, the day of the apparition of Our Lady in Fatima. And this year is the centenary of the Apparition. This is a further encouragement to carry on our WUCWO commitment at all levels; we need to be responsible to work for the promotion of women and each of us is to be involved in such task.
This month we will celebrate the highest moment, the peak of our faith, the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Saviour. Thinking about Jesus, offering Himself for our salvation, we cannot ignore God’s mercifulness. And this is so much present in the liturgy we celebrate.
The title of the Apostolic Letter “Misericordia et Misera” refers to two words used by St Augustine “in recounting the story of Jesus’ meeting with the woman taken in adultery”. Very often women who meet Jesus are not accepted in the society because of their life. They are judged, discriminated, isolated and condemned.
Continuing the reflection on the letter Misericordia and Misera we need to meditate about mercy as Pope Francis encourages it “must continue to be celebrated and lived out in our communities. Mercy cannot become a mere parenthesis in the life of the Church; it constitutes her very existence, through which the profound truths of the Gospel are made manifest and tangible. Everything is revealed in mercy; everything is resolved in the merciful love of the Father.” (MM1)
At the end of the year of Mercy we were blessed to experience last year, Pope Francis offered his apostolic letter “Misericordia et Misera” in which he encourages “to look to the future and to understand how best to continue, with joy, fidelity and enthusiasm, experiencing the richness of divine mercy. Our communities can remain alive and active in the work of the new evangelization in the measure that the “pastoral conversion” to which we are called will be shaped daily by the renewing force of mercy. Let us not limit its action; let us not sadden the Spirit, who constantly points out new paths to take in bringing to everyone the Gospel of salvation.” (MM5)
After the official closing of the Year of the Jubilee of Mercy we continue to reflect on the characteristics indicated by Pope Francis in his speech at the Roman Curia in December 2015. This is the last letter of the word MISERICORDIA, namely A, corresponding to the words accountability and sobriety.
On November 20th, the Holy Door of St Peter’s basilica in Rome will be closed, and the extraordinary year of the Jubilee of Mercy will be concluded. We continue with the reflection about the single letters of the word “MISERICORDIA”.
This month, the words are Intrepidness and Alertness.
On September 20th 2016 the World Day of Prayer for Peace “Thirst for peace: faiths and cultures in dialogue” was held in Assisi. During this event Pope Francis in his address encourages us react to the “virus that paralyses, rendering us lethargic and insensitive, a disease that eats away at the very heart of religious fervour, giving rise to a new and deeply sad paganism: the paganism of indifference. We cannot remain indifferent. Today the world has a profound thirst for peace. In many countries, people are suffering due to wars which, though often forgotten, are always the cause of
On Sunday 4th Mother Teresa will be canonised. She is the symbol of humility. Respectfulness and humility: those are the two words I want to propose this month following the scheme given by Pope Francis reflecting on each letter of the word MISERICORDIA (in Latin). “Respectfulness is an endowment of those noble and tactful souls who always try to show genuine respect for others, for their own work, for their superiors and subordinates, for dossiers and papers, for confidentiality and privacy, who can listen carefully and speak politely. Humility is the virtue of the saints and those godly persons who become all the more important as they come to realize that they are nothing, and can do nothing, apart from God’s grace (cf. Jn 15:8).” (Pope Francis)