The last Sunday of the Liturgical Year the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Christ the King of the Universe. This year, the Solemnity of Christ, the King, was extraordinary because it ended the Holy Year of Mercy and all Holy Doors were closed worldwide.
Through this Holy Year, when the Holy Doors were opened wide for everyone, we pondered on the true door of mercy, the heart of Christ. His heart is always open for us and will remain open wide, forever. From the lacerated side of our Risen Lord flows mercy, consolation and hope. Encouraged by Jesus’ example we showed the works of mercy to our neighbors.
The whole year we considered Jesus, whose throne is the cross; the crown is made of thorns; and a scepter of reed was placed into his hands; instead of luxurious clothing He was stripped of his tunic; instead of shiny rings on his fingers you find His pierced hands with nails.
As the Community of Sisters, Priests, and lay people, we gathered in the morning in our Chapel, with one mind and one heart, to celebrate Holy Mass and give God praise and thanksgiving for the gift of the Holy Year of Mercy and for the many graces we received. We were encouraged by Father Kirby with the words: grace, forgiveness and humility.
Today, at the Solemnity of Christ, the King, at the Gospel three figures appear:
1. The people who are looking on, for whom Jesus asked His Father forgiveness because “they know not what they do” (Lk 23:34).
2. Those standing by the cross received grace to suffer with Jesus and they saw flowing out blood and water from Jesus pierced side (Cf. Jn 19:34).
3. The criminal crucified next to Jesus humbly asked Jesus to remember him in His Kingdom (Lk 23:42).
These three words: forgiveness, grace and humility given by Father Kirby parallels the words of our Mother Alphonse Marie: silence, suffering and charity. By the example Jesus gave us, she asked us to be silent and forgiving when we are sneered at by others. She invites us to suffer with Jesus and those who are needy because this is a great grace. She calls us to love our neighbors and with humble heart do the works of charity and mercy. Thus, we joyfully could share the splendor of Jesus, our King when His love transforms sin into grace, death into life, fear into trust.
In the afternoon we were encouraged by our Holy Father, Francis watching Holy Mass on TV, for the occasion of the closing the Holy Year of Mercy. Even though the Year of Mercy ended, Pope Francis implores us to continue being merciful by his apostolic letter called Misericordia et Misera. This letter refers to the mercy with which Jesus grants the woman caught in adultery. None of us has the right to make forgiveness conditional. Forgiveness is the most visible sign of the Father’s love, which Jesus sought to reveal by his entire life. His Mercy brings us joy, because our hearts are opened to the hope of a new life.”
Our Holy Father, Francis calls us to celebrate mercy always. There are four ways to do it:
1. In the Eucharistic celebration, mercy appears in the dialogue between the assembly at prayer and the heart of the Father.
2. Hearing the word of God celebrates mercy, the history of our salvation through the proclamation of God’s tireless work of mercy.
3. “Bible Study” helps us to know that the Bible is the great story of the marvels of God’s mercy.
4. In the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation God shows us His Mercy if we turn back to Him and invites us to experience His closeness anew.
We ask our God to grant us the grace to be merciful like Father in our whole life.