Today starts a very special day, the beginning of the Jubilee of Mercy!
This special year in the Catholic Church runs from today, Dec. 8, 2015 (the feast of the Immaculate Conception), until Nov. 20, 2016 (the last day of the liturgical year.)
Pope Francis announced this special year in March. Read the full Bull of Indiction here.
During this special year, people, especially Catholics, are encouraged to do acts of mercy, both corporal and spiritual. Though salvation comes from God, we are told to imitate Jesus and do good works.
These works include:
Corporal acts of mercy
- Feed the hungry
- Give drink to the thirsty
- Clothe the naked
- Shelter the homeless
- Visit the sick
- Visit the imprisoned
- Bury the dead
Spiritual acts of mercy
- Instruct the ignorant
- Counsel the doubtful
- Admonish sinners
- Bear wrongs patiently
- Forgive offenses willingly
- Comfort the afflicted
- Pray for the living and the dead
Pope Francis said at the announcement, “No one can be excluded from the mercy of God; everyone knows the way to access it and the Church is the house where everyone is welcomed and no one is rejected.”
During this special year, I will explore all the acts of mercy that Pope Francis calls me to do. I am inviting you on this journey with me, so we can grow in faith and love together.
Today is also the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Mary was formed in her mother’s womb, where she was preserved exempt from all stain of original sin by God’s grace. Let us pray for her intercession of our prayers. (Source)
you prepared the Virgin Mary
to be the worthy mother of your Son.
You let her share beforehand
in the salvation Christ
would bring by his death,
and kept her sinless
from the first moment of her conception.
Help us by her prayers
to live in your presence without sin.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever. Amen.