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

13/5/12 – The Liturgy and Local Concerns

Today, the Church celebrates the Sixth Sunday of Easter.  In Australia, we also celebrate Mothers’ Day today.  It can be difficult to determine to what extent local concerns can and should be incorporated into the celebrations of the universal Church.

It is important to respect the liturgical year and seasons.  Through the course of the Church’s liturgical year, the life, death and resurrection of Christ is opened up to us for us to reflect upon and celebrate.  The readings and prayers for today, therefore, remain those for the Sixth Sunday of Easter.  Music selections should normally be based upon the scriptures and liturgical season.

Roses for Mothers' DayLocal concerns can still be recognised in other ways, however.  They can be reflected in some aspects of the art and environment.  For example, today our sanctuary is decorated with floral arrangements of roses, each donated in memory or honour of mothers, and supporting the Carmelite Mission in Timor Leste.  The Prayer of the Faithful can include a prayer for mothers on this day.  After all, the Prayer of the Faithful is a time for all of us, the faithful, to pray for our needs and concerns.   The priest can comment on Mothers’ Day in his homily, while still ensuring that he breaks open the scriptures of the day.  Part of the responsibility of the homilist is to connect what Christ teaches us with our own life experience.  Finally, the Church’s Book of Blessings provides a range of prayers for various needs and occasions.  It includes a special prayer that can be incorporated in the Concluding Rites on Mothers’ Day, which we will also use today.