Seeing the Face of Mercy this Lent

 

Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn - Return of the Prodigal Son - Google Art Project.jpg
The Return of the Prodigal Son, by Rembrandt

Lent is a time when we, among other things, celebrate the unconditional and boundless mercy of God.  This is evident throughout the season, but is probably epitomised for many in the parable of the Prodigal Son, which we will hear in a couple of weeks’ time.

Jesus presents the father in this parable as the merciful face of God the Father.  At the same time, we can relate to the father as one like us, called to respond compassionately; even though our natural response may be more akin to that of the older brother.

Year of MercyPope Francis has called us all during this Year of Mercy, not just to remember that Christ is the face of the merciful Father, but that all of us are called to be a face of mercy to the world.  This will be something that we will continue to reflect on over the course of Lent and Easter.

Mercy Has a FaceSpeaking of reflecting, many people have already noticed and commented on the mirror in the narthex, with the Diocesan Year of Mercy caption, Mercy Has a Face.  Mercy still needs a face in our world today, perhaps more now than ever, but who does God call to be that face of his mercy?  We guarantee that if you take a look in the mirror this Lent, you’ll find the answer.

 

OK, so if you’ve been to Mass at OLMC this weekend, you may be wondering why there is a mirror in the parish centre….

Posted by Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, Wentworthville on Sunday, 14 February 2016

The Year of Mercy

Carmel Bulletin, 13 December 2015

Year of MercyThe Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, which Pope Francis announced earlier this year, has now begun.  On Tuesday, Pope Francis opened the holy door at St Peter’s Basilica.

On Sunday evening (Sydney time), he will go to the cathedral church of the Diocese of Rome, the Basilica of St John Lateran, to open the holy door there.

This weekend will also see holy doors open at cathedrals around the world.  The central ceremonial doors at St Patrick’s Cathedral at Parramatta, usually closed and reserved for the most special of occasions, will be opened by Fr Peter Williams (Diocesan Administrator).  People will be able to pass through these doors any time from now until the Solemnity of Christ the King in November 2016.

The document (formally called a “bull of indiction”) through which Pope Francis officially called for this Year of Mercy helps to remind us of the boundless nature of God’s mercy, which we can celebrate and experience in a multitude of ways.  One way is through penance and reconciliation.

As we approach the season of Christmas, we remember that John the Baptist calls us, just as he called the people of his time, to repent and prepare a way for the Lord in our lives.  We will pray for, and celebrate the loving mercy of God at our Penitential Service on Wednesday evening.  I invite you to join us for this celebration, or to participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation next Saturday morning from 9:30 – 10:30 am.

Penitential-Service-2015-We