If You Hadn’t Noticed, We’ve Just Had a Year of Mercy!

by Evangelization, Faith & Life, Pope Francis

In case you hadn’t noticed, we’ve just had a Year of Mercy! It ends pretty soon, on November 20th. Maybe, like me, you start out on these extraordinary years full of interest and hope and enthusiasm, and get to the end a little worn out with the repetition of it and ready to find the next new thing. But wait! Before we dive into Advent, let’s try to pause and reflect on the year that has just passed.

All around me people are saying that 2016 was one of the worst years they’ve ever had and they want to be done with it. “Maybe we can just put 2016 in rice?!”, one meme read online. I get it. 2016 has been a year of upheaval for the world. Where has the mercy been?

Sometimes, it is only when we look into our own lives and truly reflect that we can see any changes throughout a year. They may be tiny shoots or little roots bedding down, but they are a start.

So this article is an invitation to reflect on your own Year of Mercy. Maybe it has not seemed very extraordinary to you. Maybe nothing particularly special has happened. But I refuse to believe that the Lord does not work in our lives just because we don’t notice Him!

Here are a 3 short thoughts to help you ponder on your Year of Mercy. The quotations are taken from Pope Francis’ Year of Mercy Prayer

The Year of Mercy began with Advent last year, on the 8th December 2015. Firstly, take a piece of paper and jot down the major events of your year since then. Maybe they have been practical, actual events, or more emotional ones. Either way, jotting them down will help you see where God has been in your life this year.

1. “let everyone…feel sought after, loved, and forgiven by God”

In what ways do you think God has been seeking you out this past year? We look for God a lot in our lives but we forget that He looks for us too, with constant perseverance. Can you notice patterns or times when, in hindsight, God has been gently and lovingly looking out for you?

2. “…your Church, with renewed enthusiasm, may bring good news to the poor”

In what ways have you shared you faith, life or joy with others this year? How can you build on that into the continuing year?

3. “If you knew the gift of God!”

What gifts have you have received this year? How have they changed you? Don’t forget to praise God for them! 
By showing mercy to others we can also understand God’s mercy in our own lives a little better. The following list is a round-up of our top posts on mercy from this last year. We hope you have had a blessed Year of Mercy and that you enjoy reflecting and exploring the topic of mercy in these last few days before Advent!

Who Can Receive God’s Mercy? (and how to receive it in just 2 easy steps!)

Pope Francis is encouraging us to show God’s mercy to others, but who can receive God’s mercy? Who is eligible to attain this great gift?

These Two Men Decided to Workout With Prisoners for a Week

This video reminds us that this work of mercy not only is important for those in prison, but that it is most challenging to us because of our attitudes.

The Secret to Buying Happiness

What is the secret to buying happiness? We reveal 7 great tips on how you can use your money to gain happiness in today’s post.

The Do’s And Don’ts When It Comes to Helping the Poor

A look at the does and dont’s when helping the poor. What does it mean to shelter the homeless? How do we live out this Corporal Work of Mercy?

8 Things to Ask Yourself When Cleaning Your Closet During the Year of Mercy

Can cleaning your closet be an act of mercy? Genevieve continues her quest to live out the works of mercy during the year of mercy. 8 tips in today’s post!

10 Ideas that Will Help You Make Feeding the Hungry an Act of Mercy

Many people give a canned good or donation, but how do you turn feeding the hungry into more than just being a nice person? How can it be an act of mercy?

What it Means to Give Drink to the Thirsty in the Year of Mercy

Join Genevieve as she shares her experiences living out the Year of Mercy by doing Works of Mercy. Today she shows us how to give drink to the thirsty.

In this Year of Mercy, How Can You Embrace The Leper?

Learn from Genevieve as she lives out the Year of Mercy. In today’s post, she shows us how to Visit the Sick. You can find many practical ways to live it.

“The Name of God Is Mercy” EXPLAINED in 6 Points.

Pope Francis has released his first book since becoming Pope. We highlight 6 key points from “The Name of God is Mercy”. It’s a must read!

6 Things You Didn’t See: The Year of Mercy Logo Explained

Have you given any thought to The Year of Mercy Logo and the meaning behind it? It’s more than just an image. The meaning conveyed is important to our faith.

Pope Francis Explains: The Holy Year of Mercy

Today we begin the Jubilee of Mercy which is an Extraordinary Holy Year that officially commences today on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception with the opening of the Holy Door in St. Peter’s Basilica. Today’s video will give you a good idea about what the Jubilee is all about and how to live it.

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