Monday, September 14, 2015

A Year of Mercy

Pope Francis has expanded indulgences for the Jubilee year of mercy, allowing all priests to absolve abortion, which wasn't the case before. This is normally reserved for bishops.  My understanding is that when the year is over, this ability will return to being reserved only for bishops.  This is part of a Holy Year of Mercy.

I'm writing because the phrase "Holy Year of Mercy" caught my attention.  One year of mercy. It's not without biblical support - remember the Jubilee year from the Torah (Leviticus 25)?  A year when land returned to its original owners and slaves were to be released.  It's not known whether the Israelites ever observed a Jubilee year, but the idea was so radical when I read it that I remembered it.

A jubilee year is radical. A year of mercy is radical. And yet, when I think about Jesus, I wonder if he would say, "A year?  Only a year?  I call you to limitless mercy, as you have received from the Father." Just as forgiveness is not limited to 7 times, but is limitless (as 70 x 7 would suggest), shouldn't mercy be the same? Aren't we glad that God has not limited God's forgiveness or mercy?

A year?  Probably not good enough.

Note on photo: We were walking on the marsh walk in Murrel's Inlet when we spotted this fellow.  I was so glad that I was able to get a picture of him (her? who can tell?)

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