May 13, 2016 Jubilee of Mercy
Prepared by Europe
Narrator Pope Francis has given us a gift: he has brought us together to celebrate a very special year, a year dedicated to mercy. This year, we are going to focus on mercy. It will be nice to reflect on how we are living and practicing it in our own communities. The title of the Jubilee reminds us to be: “Merciful as the Father”. We shall pray on this WUCWO day with this theme in mind to help us live in the way he asks us.
The second paragraph of the Bull of Indiction tell us:
Reader 1 We must always contemplate the mystery of mercy. It is a source of joy, serenity and peace. It is a condition for our salvation. Mercy: is the word that reveals the mystery of the Holy Trinity. Mercy: is the final and supreme act by which God comes to meet us. Mercy: it is the fundamental law that lives in the heart of each and every person when they look, with honest eyes, at the brother they meet on the journey through life. Mercy: it is the path that unites God and man, because it opens the heart to hope of being loved forever in spite of our sins.
Narrator On this WUCWO day, it is the time to stop and ask ourselves how we, women from across the world, are living by these words of the Pope. It has always been said that women have a special sensitivity for the problems and difficulties of others. Now is the time to add the grace of mercy to this sensitivity. (Moment of reflection/prayer)
Reader 2 The meaningful words of St. John XXIII pronounced at the opening of the Council to highlight the path to follow: “Now the Bride of Christ wishes to use the medicine of mercy rather than taking up arms of severity…” (Misericordie Vultus, 4).
Narrator 2 We are the Church and thus engaged in all that affects it. We were all happy at the celebration of the Second Vatican Council because it represented a remarkable step forward in terms of experiencing this reality in our lives. The documents that were approved were and continue to be a great aid to live our faith and commitment.
It should not just be the wish of Pope to get closer to others through mercy but that of everyone. Getting closer to others through showing “tender mercy to all human misery”, as the Eucharistic Prayer says, should be our special concern. Who doesn’t have some kind of ‘misery’ in their life? We all need mercy from others, but others also need our mercy. How can we get closer to those who have problems? (Moment of reflection/prayer).
Reader 1 “For his mercy endures forever.” This is the refrain that repeats after each verse in Psalm 136 as it narrates the history of God’s revelation. By virtue of mercy, all the events of the Old Testament are replete with profound salvific import. Mercy renders God’s history with Israel a history of salvation. It is as if to say that not only in history, but for all eternity man will always be under the merciful gaze of the Father” (Misericordie Vultus, 7). (Recite psalm 136) (Todos) (calmly)
Lector 2º “The mission Jesus received from the Father was that of revealing the mystery of divine love in its fullness. “God is love” … Jesus, seeing the crowds of people who followed him, realized that they were tired and exhausted, lost and without a guide, and he felt deep compassion for them.” (Misericordie Vultus, 8)
Narrator 2 If the mission that the Father gave to Jesus has been to “reveal the mystery of divine love in its fullness”, we, his followers, have the same mission; how are we going to reflect the Father’s love? The Gospel shows us how Jesus acted; it is thus, that we, like Him, should act in our daily life, in our communities and in our dealings with others, as well as with our enemies. Forgiveness is one of these actions; one that is highly valued and is an excellent example of mercy.
Reader 3 “In the parables devoted to mercy, Jesus reveals the nature of God as that of a Father who never gives up until he has forgiven the wrong and overcome rejection with compassion and mercy. We know these parables well, three in particular: the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the father with two sons (cf. Lk 15:1-32). In these parables, God is always presented as full of joy, especially when he pardons. In them we find the core of the Gospel and of our faith, because mercy is presented as a force that overcomes everything, filling the heart with love and bringing consolation through pardon.” (Misericordie Vultus, 9) (Read the parable of the Prodigal Son)
(We respond: «Remember, Lord, your great mercy»)
1. For all those who feel alone and abandoned, that they find merciful people to accompany them in their difficulties. Let us pray
2. For all those who suffer violence in any of its forms, especially women who suffer most, may the Lord free them from it. Let us pray
3. For those responsible for violence, may the Lord take their hearts of stone from their chest and replace it with one of flesh. Let us pray
4. For the refugees and Christians who are dying because of their faith, may God’s mercy give them strength and may their persecutors change their ways. Let us pray
5. For the reason that we have come together in celebration, may the Lord teach us tender mercy so that we treat everyone with love. Let us pray
6. (Spontaneous prayers)
Reader 3 “The Church is commissioned to announce the mercy of God, the beating heart of the Gospel, which in its own way must penetrate the heart and mind of every person. The Spouse of Christ must pattern her behaviour after the Son of God who went out to everyone without exception”. (Misericordie Vultus, 12)
Narrator 3 On many occasions, the Church has been accused of having extremely high standards, lacking in mercy, and many have turned away from it for this reason. In a certain sense, through the communion of the saints we take part in the virtue and sin of the Church. The women of WUCWO suggest that we be the face of the Father’s mercy. We should enhance the certainty of being loved by the Father and so, happily, be bearers of this feeling to all humanity so that everyone can appreciate this grace.
Reader 4 “It is my burning desire that, during this Jubilee, the Christian people may reflect on the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. It will be a way to reawaken our conscience, too often grown dull in the face of poverty. And let us enter more deeply into the heart of the Gospel where the poor have a special experience of God’s mercy. Jesus introduces us to these works of mercy in his preaching so that we can know whether or not we are living as his disciples. Let us rediscover these corporal works of mercy: to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, heal the sick, visit the imprisoned, and bury the dead. And let us not forget the spiritual works of mercy: to counsel the doubtful, instruct the ignorant, admonish sinners, comfort the afflicted, forgive offences, bear patiently those who do us ill, and pray for the living and the dead”. (Misericordie Vultus, 15)
Lector 3º “In this Jubilee Year, may the Church echo the word of God that resounds strong and clear as a message and a sign of pardon, strength, aid, and love. May she never tire of extending mercy, and be ever patient in offering compassion and comfort. May the Church become the voice of every man and woman, and repeat confidently without end: “Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old” (Ps 25:6). (Misericordie Vultus, 25)
Narrator 3 Mary, Mother of Mercy, help us in our commitment to be “Merciful as the Father” and ensure that we have the love to be able to love all man, his sons and daughters.
MARY QUEEN OF PEACE PRAYER, PATRONESS OF WUCWO
O Loving God, your Son, Jesus Christ, came
into the world to do your Will
and leave us His Peace. Through the intercession
and example of our Blessed Mother Mary, Queen of
Peace, grant us the wisdom and humility
to reflect that peace to the world.
Inspire our thoughts, words
and deeds to bear witness to your
presence in our hearts. May your
Holy Spirit fill us with every
grace and blessing so that we may pursue
what leads to
peace for all humanity.