A Holy Year of Mercy
On May 15, 2015, Pope Francis announced an extraordinary jubilee, a Holy Year of Mercy from December 8, 2015, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception until November 20, 2016, the Sunday dedicated to Christ the King.
Pope Francis invites us to think about mercy a new as the “act by which God comes to meet us” but also mercy as the “fundamental law that dwells in the heart of every person who looks sincerely into the eyes of his brothers and sisters on the path of life”. He invites us to live by this mercy in our parishes and lives, to forgive other’s as well as to seek reconciliation. He challenges us to understand mercy and justice as “two dimensions of the same reality” on the way of conversion of the sinner towards love.
Corporal Works of Mercy
are those that tend to bodily needs of others. In Matthew 25:34-40, in the The Judgment of Nations, six specific Works of Mercy are enumerated, although not this precise list as the reason for the salvation of the saved, and the omission of them as the reason for damnation. The last work of mercy, burying the dead, comes from the Book of Tobit.
- To feed the hungry
- To give drink to the thirsty.
- To clothe the naked.
- To Shelter the Homeless
- To visit the sick.
- To visit the imprisoned
- To bury the dead.
The Seven Spiritual Works of Mercy
Just as the Corporal Works of Mercy are directed towards relieving corporeal suffering, the even more important aim of the Spiritual Works of Mercy is to relieve spiritual suffering. The latter works are traditionally enumerated thus:
- To instruct the ignorant.
- To counsel the doubtful.
- To admonish sinners.
- To bear wrongs patiently.
- To forgive offences willingly.
- To comfort the afflicted.
- To pray for the living and the dead