From the Heart of Our Minister, April, 2015


PEACE to each of your hearts as we celebrate the SOLEMNITY of our Risen Lord!

In a homily delivered on March 17, 2013, our Holy Father, Pope Francis said,

I think we too are the people who, on the one hand, want to listen to Jesus, but on the other hand, at times, like to find a stick to beat others with, to condemn others. And Jesus has this message for us: mercy. I think — and I say it with humility — that this is the Lord’s most powerful message: mercy.

In February of this year, Pope Francis declared a Holy Year of Mercy beginning on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, 2015, and culminating on the Feast of Christ the King, 2016, by saying,


Dear brothers and sisters, I have often thought about how the Church might make clear its mission of being a witness to mercy. It is journey that begins with a spiritual conversion. For this reason, I have decided to call an extraordinary Jubilee that is to have the mercy of God at its center. It shall be a Holy Year of Mercy. We want to live this Year in the light of the Lord’s words: “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (cf. Lk 6:36)”

This Holy Year will begin on this coming Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and will end on November 20, 2016, the Sunday dedicated to Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe – and living face of the Father’s mercy. I entrust the organization of this Jubilee to the Pontifical Council for Promotion of the New Evangelization, that [the dicastery] might animate it as a new stage in the journey of the Church on its mission to bring to every person the Gospel of mercy.

I am convinced that the whole Church will find in this Jubilee the joy needed to rediscover and make fruitful the mercy of God, with which all of us are called to give consolation to every man and woman of our time. From this moment, we entrust this Holy Year to the Mother of Mercy, that she might turn her gaze upon us and watch over our journey.

If, as our dear Bro. Larry often urges, we are meditating on an article of our Rule each day, Article 5 (corresponding with Easter Sunday this year) tells us,

Secular Franciscans, therefore, should seek to encounter the living and active person of Christ in their brothers and sisters …

Sometimes being merciful isn’t easy.  It requires a shift within ourselves that can be difficult to make but, if we can allow ourselves to enter into the adventure of grace, we can, as our Holy Father says, become witnesses to mercy and live in the light of the Lord’s words:  Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Blessings, every good, and much love,


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