Year of Mercy
In December 2015 the Pope declared a Holy Year of Mercy or a Jubilee Year of Mercy. In the Roman Catholic tradition it is a great religious event. The origins of a Holy Year go back to Old Testament times (Leviticus 25: 10-12). Its purpose is to encourage holiness of life, to strengthen faith and to encourage works of charity and brotherly communion within the Church and in society.
The theme of the Holy Year was Mercy. The Pope asked each of us to reflect on God’s mercy shown to us, especially by him sending his Son to save us from our sin and thus allowing us to inherit eternal life. He also called us to reflect on how we can show God’s mercy to others by the love, compassion and mercy we show to them.
Why a Holy Door?
The year of mercy began on 8th December 2015 with Pope Francis opening the Holy Door into St Peter’s in Rome. This door is only ever opened in a Jubilee year. So what is the symbolism of the Door?
Jesus himself told us that he is the door to the Kingdom of Heaven:
“I am the gate for the sheep. Whoever enters through me will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture; I have come that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” (John 10:7-10)
Jesus means that by believing in him and following his teachings we will find the door to true happiness in this life, and heaven and everlasting life in the future .
Even when we make mistakes and choose to go the wrong way, God is always merciful and ready to forgive us and help us to go the right way.
Whenever we go through our Holy Door at school or anywhere else, be mindful of God’s mercy shown to you and remember that Jesus, in his death and resurrection, is your door to the Kingdom of God.
St Modwen's Holy Door
We can show other people God’s mercy by doing ‘merciful things’ for them. The Corporal and Spiritual works of Mercy are a guide to help us to do that. Each class in the school created a poster designed to help us remember the ways we can show God’s mercy to others in the way we live our lives:
CORPORAL WORKS OF MERCY:
Feed the hungry
Give drink to the thirsty
Clothe the naked
Welcome the stranger
Heal the sick
Visit the imprisoned
Bury the dead
SPIRITUAL WORKS OF MERCY:
Counsel the doubtful
Instruct the ignorant
Comfort the afflicted
Bear patiently those who do us ill
Pray for the living and the dead