Nov 17, 2015
In a few short weeks, we will celebrate the beginning of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, which has great potential to bring many people back to the Lord, and to serve as a launching pad for bringing the Gospel to the spiritual slums created by secularism.
Bl. Mother Teresa frequently pointed out that the modern mission field for the West is not overseas but on our shores. The greatest poverty of the West, she would say, is not material poverty but the spiritual poverty that can be seen in the many people who hunger for love and have a desire to experience God's presence. In fact, she would tell people who wanted to volunteer in India that the best way they could help was to bring love to their own homes, offices and factories.
During the Jubilee Year, we have the opportunity to carry mission territory to those who may not even realize that they are longing for mercy. When Pope Francis was asked who he is in an interview, he responded, "I am a sinner whom the Lord has looked upon." Being able to say that requires an openness to the love and mercy of the Father, which brings with it the gift of humility and an awareness of how God is intimately involved in every aspect of life.
Acknowledging our need for mercy returns us to our true selves, just as when St. Luke described the Prodigal Son's realization of how badly he had fallen as "coming to himself" (cf. Lk. 15: 17). Whether we are the younger brother who squandered everything or the older brother who was filled with resentment, all of us need the mercy of the Father.