On December 8, 2015, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the 50th Anniversary of the close of the 2nd Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pope Francis opens the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy. The Pope’s devotion to Mary is well known. The connection to the Council is also very important to him. In “Face of Mercy” Pope Francis wrote that the Council ushered in a new phase of evangelization and he said “The Church sensed a responsibility to be a living sign of the Father’s love in the world.” The theme for the Jubilee is “Merciful Like of the Father.”
During the Jubilee Year, the Holy Father is inviting the Faithful to carry out the corporal and spiritual works of mercy with new energy. In September, he wrote:
I have asked the Church in this Jubilee Year to rediscover the richness encompassed by the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. The experience of mercy, indeed, becomes visible in the witness of concrete signs as Jesus himself taught us.
In a press conference on December 4, 2015, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, pointed out that
The Holy Year of Mercy will, in fact, be the first in the era of Internet and of social media.
We can be pro-active in bringing the message of mercy to the Internet and social media. The writings and homilies of the Holy Father as well as his Tweets will give us much content to share. The Faithful carrying out the spiritual and corporal works of mercy will give us good photo opportunities. Let’s share these on the Internet and social media.
The Vatican is doing its part with a Jubilee Year website.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has created a Jubilee Year section on its website with a variety of resources. It invites viewers to use the hashtag #mercyinmotion when posting photos of acts of mercy on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It also has a section on the corporal and spiritual works of mercy with practical suggestions on how we can practice each one.
To celebrate the Jubilee of Mercy I produced the video below. It has 9 quotes from the “Face of Mercy” that highlight some of the themes for the Jubilee Year. Feel free to share it on your social media sites if you do not have another post prepared. You can also embed this on your website if you wish. (Click on the Share symbol in the upper right-hand corner to share on social media and to get the embed code.)
Happy Feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary! Happy Jubilee of Mercy!