Yesterday, I was excited and encouraged to hear that Pope Francis has declared a Year of Jubilee to reflect upon and celebrate mercy. This type of annual designation, which typically happens only every 25 to 50 years, will begin on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception this December and end on the Feast of Christ the King in 2016.
National Catholic Reporter yesterday quoted Pope Francis’ announcement of this celebration during a penance service:
“I am convinced that the whole church — that has much need to receive mercy because we are sinners — will find in this jubilee the joy to rediscover and render fruitful the mercy of God, with which we are all called to give consolation to every man and woman of our time,” Francis said in announcing the year.
“Let us not forget that God pardons and God pardons always,” the pope continued. “Let us never tire of asking for forgiveness.”
“We entrust it as of now to the Mother of Mercy, because she looks to us with her gaze and watches over our way,” Francis said. “Our penitential way, our way of open hearts, during a year to receive the indulgence of God, to receive the mercy of God.”